THE brother of a hero soldier tragically killed in action has followed in his footsteps to become a paratrooper.

Pte Jeff Doherty was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 just two days after his 20th birthday while serving in the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, based in Colchester.

Southend Standard:

He left behind his doting brother Fin, who was just six-years-old at the time, and who idolised Jeff.

The youngster proudly wore his brother’s iconic maroon paratrooper on parade afterwards and vowed to become a Para himself.

Now aged 18, he has been formally handed the beret back after completing a gruelling 19 week training in Catterick.

He still has several weeks of training but has his heart set on joining 2 Para, just like his brave brother.

Pte Doherty told The Sun: “It means everything to receive his beret.

“I’ve always wanted to wear his beret so that it gets to see the things he would have done had his career not been cut short.”

In BBC documentary Inside Out earlier this year, Pte Doherty, of Southam, Warwickshire, revealed how his brother’s death had affected him.

He said: “Whenever he was home he was always making a fuss of me, there were always good times, no bad times.

“We were always misbehaving and messing about.

“He was the big brother who I loved, he loved me and I knew I was loved from a young age.”

“After he died I was ready to fight anybody at any time.

“You could say hello and I’d shout at you.” I wasn’t just doing it outside the house, but inside the house as well.”

“We’d be sitting in the living room and nobody would speak to me because they were worried about how I’d react.”

Southend Standard:

He added: “I couldn’t think of a better job than doing something that I think matters, especially for something my brother laid down his life for.

“To wear that maroon cap, there’s no greater pride.

“I’d rather have what happened to him happen to me at the same age than live to 100 and never do it because that pride of being a paratrooper is everything.

“There’s nothing more in this world that I want, and that’s the mentality you’ve got to have.”

“I’d love more than anything in the world to wear my brother’s beret.”