A MAN from Bebington used inherited money from his late mum, Kath, to create and publish a children’s book about a disabled superhero.

Rob Martin, 56, created the picture book Joe and Dusty Save The World which tells the tale of a young disabled boy called Joe and his trusty sidekick and support dog Dusty an English bull terrier.

For Rob, who now lives with his husband in Greater Manchester, writing a book that starred a disabled character, was a very personal affair.

Aged just six, the freelance copywriter and marketing consultant lost his severely disabled teenage sister Pauline, who had lived with multiple conditions and spent much of her life in hospital.

The loss had a huge impact on the rest of the family, including Rob and middle sister Carol, and he says he is still affected by it today, 50 years later.

Wirral Globe: Author Rob and his late mother KathAuthor Rob and his late mother Kath

The author had a further shock when he himself realised he was living with his own disability. A late diagnosis of autism, a matter of weeks after his book was published, initially left Rob reeling. But after reflecting on his new discovery, Rob decided that knowledge was power.

He told the Globe: “Suddenly everything started to make sense.”

"Even I could spot that I shared many traits in common with the character in the book, and when I asked my sister and my husband if they had ever suspected I was autistic, they both said that they had."

In the book, which is written entirely in rhyme, best friends Joe and Dusty are abducted by aliens who are set on blowing up planet earth.

But thanks to Joe's unwavering devotion to his dog and his infectious love of music and dancing, he manages to change the minds of his extra-terrestrial captors by teaching them all about kindness, fun and love.

Rob says he now feels the significance of his disabled young champion to be even greater.

Wirral Globe: Rob with children from Urmston Primary SchoolRob with children from Urmston Primary School

He said: "Joe and Dusty is a book about a young boy who just happens to be disabled. I deliberately don't name Joe's disability because it is not a book about what he finds difficult or can't do. The story's happy ending relies entirely upon Joe's strengths.

“Whilst it's a book about space and aliens, the underlying message is about celebrating people for their differences.

"It is also about the power of human connection, which is a very important message for everyone after the isolation we have all experienced over the last couple of years."

Wirral Globe:

Rob said that publishing Joe and Dusty felt like the best way to honour the memory of his mum and sister and to get a handle on his new understanding of himself as an autistic man.

"Joe and Dusty shines a light on the positive contributions disabled and neurodivergent people make to their families and to wider society," he said.

"I could have spent my inheritance on an extension or a fancy holiday but publishing a book can have a much bigger impact.”