The legacy of former Corsham firefighter Martin O’Shea means a specialist physiotherapist has been appointed to help people with motor neurone disease.

Mr O’Shea, who was also the Corsham sorting office manager, died in 2013 just eight months after being diagnosed with the disease.

In the last months of his life his family and friends threw themselves into fundraising so there would be a legacy after his death.

The £21,000 raised has been used to help Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provide a specialist respiratory physiotherapist, based in Devizes NHS Treatment Centre for a year.

His widow Amanda, 48, of Katherine Park, Corsham, said: “I know that he would be so proud that all of this has happened in his name. Before he died he often spoke of how much he wanted to help others with MND.”

She said her husband, who died aged 49, was very well known in Corsham through his work as a retained fireman, postman and milkman. Before he became sorting office manager he had worked for many years delivering mail and took on milk rounds.

More than 600 people attended St Bartholomew’s Church last June to say a final farewell.

Mr O’Shea enjoyed football and running and had been very fit until he was attacked by thugs at the back of the Springfield Centre in Corsham.

Mrs O’Shea, who has two daughters Samantha, 25, and Sian, 21, said: “His leg was broken in the attack and it was when the plaster came off that he started to suffer symptoms. They say it can be brought on by trauma.

“Gradually he stopped being able to do things. Towards the end he could not even speak.”

Funds for the post also came from the North Wiltshire Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.