A BODYBUILDER from Alvechurch has launched his own campaign to challenge knife crime, after being stabbed 12 times as he tried to save a woman from being attacked.

Fitness competitor Will Flint, 27, was repeatedly knifed near a Birmingham cashpoint in the early hours of New Years Day, following a night out in the city centre with friends.

He was stabbed in the back, leg, side and stomach, leaving him in hospital for two weeks with 60 staples, a collapsed lung and severed spleen.

Recounting the horrific attack, Will told the Advertiser: "I had been out with some friends in Birmingham watching the fireworks and stopped to take some money out to pay the taxi driver.

"I heard someone having a row and saw a woman shouting 'get away from me' to a man. I asked what was going on and next thing I know he started stabbing me."

Having previously taken Krav Maga classes at Bromsgrove's Dolphin Centre, Will was able to block some of the blows, climb back into his taxi and walk into Queen Elizabeth Hospital's A&E department before he collapsed.

Six months on, Will is determined to raise awareness of the rising rate of knife crime, and emphasise the benefits of exercise to support physical and mental recovery.

Will's campaign Drop The Knife, including a dramatic five-minute video about his experience, urges young people to protect themselves through fitness rather than carrying a weapon.

Watch the video here.

"I was back in the gym three weeks after what happened to me," said Will. "It really helped with my mental recovery as well as physical. That's one of the messages I'm keen to get across - knife crime awareness, mental health awareness, and the gym as a great alternative means of protection to carrying a knife.

"I was really nervous about starting the campaign but I wanted to make something positive come from what happened to me. I want to inspire people as someone talking from the other side of something that is potentially life-threatening.

"People have actually come forward saying the same thing happened to them and that they hadn't been able to come back from it until they saw my video, so it's great to feel like I'm helping people."

Weoley Castle teen Aidan Morrissey has been jailed for eight years and 10 months for the attack.