A war hero has described the moment he missed death by millimetres when he was shot while serving in Afghanistan.

Simon Moloney was providing covering fire from a rooftop in 2013 when he was shot in the neck - but when he fell 8ft to the ground a goat miraculously broke his fall.

His unit was taking part in a helicopter assault alongside the Afghan army deep inside a Taliban stronghold and soon came under attack.

Moloney and a machine gunner were ordered to climb onto a roof and provide covering fire.

An enemy sharpshooter spotted Moloney and shot him through the neck, missing his vital arteries and voice box by millimetres.

“It felt as though I had been punched,” he recalled.

“I was half thrown and half rolled off the roof. If I had stayed up there I would have taken more bullets.”

The goat he landed on was less fortunate and did not survive the attack.

He then had to climb back onto the roof to retrieve the radio and call for assistance.

Moloney’s friend and comrade Wesley Masters, raced 400 metres under heavy fire to provide medical aid.

He found that the Taliban bullet had parted Moloney’s trachea and carotid artery – the surgeon who later treated him said that he would struggle to make such an incision on an operating table.

He had to fashion a bandage that would stop bleeding and infection, but not block Simon's airway.

He managed it while the battle continued to rage around them.

Once Masters had bandaged Moloney, the latter returned to the fight for an hour and a half in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Centigrade.

He reoccupied his previous position on the roof, using his sniper’s rifle sight to identify and engage enemy positions and shouting information to his comrades despite his throat injury.

He only paused when ordered to do so by Masters so that the latter could check his dressings.

Eventually, against his will, he was extracted by helicopter. His gallantry saved his troop from suffering multiple casualties.

“By rights I should be dead now,” said Moloney. “At the moment I was shot there was blood pouring from my neck and I thought I had about 30 seconds to live.

"I was hit by a tracer round from about 400 metres, it was a decent shot. Naturally I thought I was going to die because the wound was such a serious one.”

Moloney was awarded a CGC medal for his efforts, as well as the Military Cross.

He is now planning on auctioning his CGC - expected to raise £100,000 at Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins, medals and jewellery experts.

Simon has left the army to start up his own business setting up equipment for television outside broadcasts.