An SAS hero who took part in the infamous Iranian embassy siege and daring raids during the Falklands War is selling his medals.
Warrant Officer John Thompson, 69, says he only found out they were valuable after going on the ITV antiques programme Real Deal and now hopes to get £12,000 for them at auction next month.
The collection from his distinguished career includes one from the UN for his work in Cyprus in the 1960s, General Service and Northern Ireland medals, a South Atlantic Medal and the Republic of Korea Service Medal.
But despite his television appearance, he should be better known for his bravery in battle.
During the 1980 siege of the Iranian embassy, six gunmen took 26 hostages, killed one and threw his body out of the building.
Mr Thompson was one of a SAS team flown into London by helicopter who then stormed the building by abseiling from the roof in a successful rescue bid that killed five of the terrorists.
Thompson and one of his three colleagues from A squadron were sent to the front of building where they fired gas canisters into the embassy - and were pictured doing so.
He was also one of several brave troops used successfully to attack Argentine forces on the Falklands ahead of the main British assault in 1982.
Thompson was secretly dropped in a full three weeks before the full British army arrived, killing the enemy and passing on important information back to the UK without ever being detected.
Incredibly he is also the only SAS man top take part in the dramatic siege in Kensington and operations in the South Atlantic after Argentina invaded the British Falkland Islands.
His story came out after earlier this year he took some axe heads and other ancient artefacts he found while metal detecting to a TV valuation and at the last minute put his own medals in his back pocket.
A dealer offered him £10,000 pounds and said that if they went to auction the pair would split anything raised above that sum.
They are now to go under the hammer at the Dix Noonan Webb saleroom in London during a two day sale staring on September 12.
The father-of-two is now hoping for an unexpected windfall when his medals go for auction.
Thompson, who is originally from Liverpool and now lives in Anglesea, with his wife, said: 'I wasn’t intending to sell my medals until I went to an antiques programme.
'My daughter saw that Real Deal was filming in Bangor and I decided to take some of my finds from metal detecting. I had some bronze axe heads and spear heads.
'On the way out I put my medals in my back pocket, but I didn’t know why I did.
'On the programme the experts gave me valuations for the metal detecting finds, but there was no way they were going to get me on TV.
'My daughter looked disappointed, then I remembered the medals and I got them out they made a lot of phone calls.
'They put me on and the dealer just kept putting thousands of pounds down on the table. I had no idea they would be worth anything like that.
'I don’t think I said anything, he just kept putting more money down until there was 9,000 pounds on the table.
'After that David Dickinson who hosts the show said we’d finish the deal after lunch and then we agreed a price of 10,000 pounds. And if it sold for more than that at auction we’d split the rest.
'I’ve decided to sell because my two children don’t want the medals and I’ll soon be 70.
'And as they say, if you don’t let your medals leave, you’ll leave you medals.
'And the money will be useful of course.'
Thompson said he was the only SAS operative to take part in the Iranian embassy siege and the Falklands because he switched squadron.
He said: 'We were on standby when the embassy siege happened and an MoD policeman said we were needed.
'I didn’t want to go because I was just leaving to watch Liverpool play in Birmingham in the third replay of the FA Cup semi final.
'I remember saying 'find somebody else', but in the end I was pleased I didn’t go because we lost 1-0 against Arsenal.'
Pierce Noonan, from the saleroom, said: 'There will be interest in these medals because Thompson was at the Iranian embassy siege and the covert intelligence gathering operations in the Falklands, which is unique.'
They are in huge demand from collectors because of the story they tell of an incredible SAS soldier’s life who was the only one at the Iranian siege and the Falklands.