A new football league has kicked off – but players can only join if they are FAT.
The competition is open to men who have a BMI of 30 or over and points are awarded for both games won and pounds lost after each game.
Andrew Shanahan, 37, runs the Fat V Man league but ironically is too skinny to actually play after losing five stone to go from 17 to 12 stone.
Andrew started the league after getting fed up with weight loss classes which he said were filled with women.
After years of failed attempts at different diets and gym routines, Andrew decided to set up Man V Fat in January 2014.
The free 14-week season will help football fans slim down to a healthy BMI of 18 to 25 and has been set up by football specialists Leisure Leagues.
The scheme began on January 11 in Solihull, West Mids., where the men were introduced to each other and the teams were chosen.
Teams include Inter Pies, XL Legends, Beer Bellies United and Phoenix XXXL, with ages ranging from the early 20s to an impressive 69.
Spots filled up quickly and around 90 men attended the first matches which took place on Monday night (18/1).
Andrew, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., said: “I started Man V Fat two years ago because I was morbidly obese and experienced first-hand the difficulties men face during weight loss.
“I was 17 stone in 2013 and now I’m just over 12 stone, but I was shocked at how little support blokes get for weight loss.
“There was no help for me, and all the classes seemed tailored to womens’ needs.
“I remember going to a Weight Watchers meeting and I was the only guy there. It was embarrassing and I was so out of my depth.
“The leader was talking about when you’re on your period you can go up or down in weight and I just thought, that’s not my issue. That’s really not what’s affecting me.
“That’s why men fail. Blokes think if they are going to lose weight they need to run a marathon or do some Spartan event. That’s the wrong path.
“You should change how you eat, change your attitude to your lifestyle. And you need support.
“I asked the 40,000 members of Man V Fat what they most needed to lose weight, and they said they needed to talk to each other.
“A total of 67 percent of men overweight, and they’re ashamed they’ve let themselves go so give up football.
“We’ve got guys who are 30 stone plus with a BMI of 50.
“A lot of men want to get back into sport, I know I did, but it’s intimidating because clubs only tend to have one fat bloke on their team.
“When you start you have to have a BMI of over 30, but if you drop below it you’ll be celebrated.
“There’s lots to get involved with off the pitch as well because you win points for losing weight.”
To register, visit www.manvfat.com.
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10.West Ham Roll
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