But with the determination typical of the former Welsh Guardsman - who not only survived the attack on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands War, but has worked hard to redefine his life as a result – he’s also working his way towards rectifying the situation.
Simon is one of a select group of Welsh learning celebrities chosen to fly the flag for a Welsh for Adults Campaign "We’ll Bring out the Cymraeg in you".
Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Skills, John Griffiths, who is a Welsh learner, said he is delighted Simon Weston is supporting the campaign.
Mr Griffiths said:
There has never been a better time to learn Welsh as there are so any different ways to get started.
I am learning Welsh myself and I’m finding it stimulating and really very useful.
Meanwhile Simon, now aged 46, of Nelson, says he may well have picked the wrong year to embark on his voyage of Welsh language discovery, most of the past six months having been dedicated to playing a prominent role in celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.
But a break in his learning has made him all the more determined to gain at least a rudimentary grasp of his native language.
It’s been near impossible for me the past few months, but I’m going to try to get a bit of concentrated learning in during some time off I have coming up.
Simon decided to learn Welsh because he felt ‘left out’ with Welsh-speaking family and friends.
I've always wanted to speak the language of my country. I feel a bit of a fraud being Welsh and not being able to speak it.
With help from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Welsh for Adults campaign, he is being mentored through his learning by another legend - rugby star Ray Gravell – whose dedication to the cause through the BBC’s Big Welsh Challenge programme has kept Simon motivated to succeed.
Their time together was curtailed when Ray was forced to have part of his leg amputated in the spring. But his friend, Eifion Price, took over for a spell and Simon is expected to be reunited with ‘Grav’ in the near future.
He’s very well and says he’s looking forward to getting me going again.
His ambition being simply to be able to understand the language and communicate a few basic phrases, Simon says he’s not taking his task too seriously but is not giving up either.
I haven’t got a really ambitious timetable, but I’d like to be able to speak a bit of Welsh in other people’s company. I think it’s only polite to be able to offer part of your conversation in Welsh when you’re talking to Welsh speakers.
The Welsh for Adults Campaign, is being promoted by celebrity learners who also feature on the BBC’s Big Welsh Challenge such as Simon Weston, Derek Brockway and Colin Charvis.
The Welsh for Adults Campaign highlights the benefits of learning Welsh in terms of personal aspiration, culture, work and family.
Some 20,000 people learn Welsh each year and the aims of the current campaign is to increase the number of individuals learning the Welsh language and to raise awareness of the new brand and structure of Welsh for adults.
It is the biggest national campaign ever staged to promote Welsh learning for adults and the first launched since the establishment of the six dedicated Welsh for Adults centers created by the Welsh Assembly Government set up in accordance with the commitment made in Iaith Pawb (2003) the Welsh Assembly Government’s bilingual Strategy for Wales.
For more information about courses taking place in your area either contact one of the language centres listed on the Welsh for Adults website www.welshforadults.org or call free on 0800 100 900.