Middlesbrough FC fan Tony Wedlake was at a match when he realised his life had to change. He struggled to get through a turnstile and decided he had to lose some weight.
He weighed almost 24 stone and found himself avoiding games when they were busy so he could have more than one seat.
The charity boss shed six stone - and he now weighs a healthier 17 stone 12 pounds.
“I’d tried it all before, when I won’t eat this or that but it didn’t work,” said the 42-year-old.
“Exercise and eating go hand in hand.”
At first he could only walk but as the weight dropped off, he stepped the training up with a personal trainer and gruelling gym sessions.
Tony noticed that he no longer needed a mask to sleep and his energy levels were much higher.
“I had never been up Roseberry Topping or Captain’s Cook Monument,” he admitted.
“I’m a Teessider, who loves Teesside and would do anything for Teesside - people would laugh when I’d say I’d never been up.
“But the first time I went up was incredible - I was almost in tears.”
It wasn’t his only achievement, conquering the Tees 10k and last year, helping to found the Teesside Family Foundation. Money raised from his weight loss has gone on taking poorly children away on Christmas days out.
“When I started I couldn’t even walk 300 yards, my back was killing me.
“But as the weight came off I walked further, and even half a stone makes a massive difference in just how much exercise you can do.”