By Duncan Mackay

Stephen Miller with Alan ShearerJanuary 16 - Stephen Miller, the captain of Britain's athletics team at the London 2012 Paralympics, has secured a new sponsorship deal which will help plug a gap created after he was dropped from elite funding. 

The 32-year-old from Cramlington, who has cerebral palsy, had won the club throw in the F32/51 at Atlanta in 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and a silver at Beijing 2008.

But he failed to qualify for the final at London 2012.

That led to Miller losing his elite funding from UK Athletics.

But now Speedflex, which offer high-intensity, low-impact resistance exercise machines, and are based in Jesmond have now stepped in to help him as he begins his preparations for Rio 2016.

Speedflex is run by former Newcastle United physiotherapist Paul Ferris and has ex-England captain Alan Shearer (pictured top with Miller) as its ambassador.

Stephen Miller with silver medal from Beijing 2008Stephen Miller had won medals, including three gold, in four consecutive Paralympic Games but injury prevented him from performing at his best at London 2012

Miller's performance at London 2012 was hampered by injury and he needed a hip replacement operation afterwards. 

But he is now targeting the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Athletics Championships in Lyon in July.

Shearer, who is the Premier League's record goalscorer having hit 260 during his career, as well as 30 for England, has promised to work with Miller to help him regain his top fitness.

"Steven is a great athlete and a winner, everyone at Speedflex can't wait to help with his training towards Rio 2016," he said.

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