Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 13:20 UK

Medal for bomber-tackling marine

Sgt Noel Connolly
Sgt Connolly has been in the Royal Marines since 1988

A Royal Marine who saved the lives of 30 comrades by rugby-tackling a would-be suicide bomber in Afghanistan is to be awarded the Military Cross.

Sgt Noel Connolly, of Manchester, threw himself at the Taliban fighter, who was loaded with 150lb (68kg) of explosives, near a disused school in April.

The father-of-two stopped the surprised bomber just before he blew himself up.

Sgt Connolly, who is based in Plymouth, will be presented with the prestigious award by the Queen later in the year.

The military honours list is due to be released on Friday, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

If the bomber had succeeded, he would have killed 30 marines from the Plymouth-based 42 Commando.

He will just say it's part of his job and that is what he is paid to do
Sgt Noel Connolly's sister, Breda

Shortly after he came face-to-face with the Taliban fighter, the soldier's sister Breda Connolly, who lives in Manchester, praised him for his bravery.

She told the BBC: "We are so, so proud of him, what he did out there was amazing.

"It truly is terrifying what they have to face on a daily basis, but I know he will kill me for broadcasting his success.

"He will just say it's part of his job and that is what he is paid to do, it was just incredibly brave."

The soldier has been in the Royal Marines since he was 19 and has served in Iraq, Congo and Northern Ireland.

He is based in Plymouth where he lives with his two daughters and his wife, Lorraine.



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