AN extraordinary journey led a teenage refugee to become a surgeon and a member of Brentford Football Club’s medical team.

Hani Abdul-Jabar fled sectarian violence in Iraq in 1995, making the harrowing month-long journey alone across the Middle East and Europe in search of asylum in the UK.

“I arrived here with nowhere to stay, no money, no friends and a basic grasp of the English language,” says the 42-year-old consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon.

“It was tough but my attitude has always been to work hard, never give up and make the best of every day.”

He works for the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which includes Ealing Hospital.

As a 16-year-old, he initially lived in an asylum hostel in London, juggling college with several part-time jobs.

“Everyone in the hostel was in the same situation but many got stuck in the cycle of making ends meet through a succession of poorly-paid manual jobs,” he said. “It’s a hard trap to escape without education.”

Hani continued to hold down jobs like cab driving as he made his way through medical school.

He diagnoses and treats injuries to bones, joints and parts of the body that help movement, such as ligaments, tendons and muscles. He has been with Brentford FC since 2014.

Hani was finally reunited with his family in 2008.