Man vs Fat: The football weight loss club where players have lost 134 stone combined

newport man v fat footbal team
The MAN v FAT Newport team have lost a whopping 134 stone combined. Credit: MAN v FAT Newport

A football club designed to help members lose weight has seen players lose a whopping 134 stones combined.

Newport's MAN v FAT football club was started during lockdown in November 2020, as part of a nationwide programme designed to help players shift some pounds.

It was created by Andrew Shanahan, who was fed-up with traditional weight loss classes and decided to develop something that combines football with achievable weight loss goals for men.

Before matches, players are weighed, which is followed by a 30-minute game of six-a-side, with extra goal bonuses awarded to teams based on the amount of weight players have lost.

Weight loss and match scores contribute to teams’ league positions which is aimed at encouraging players to keep up their fitness.

'I feel fitter both physically and mentally'

Gavin Edwards, a member of Newport's MAN v FAT club, has dropped two stone in the nine months since he joined the club.

Gavin Edwards, of Newport's MAN v FAT, has dropped two stone in weight. Credit: MAN v FAT

He says the weight loss has left him feeling better "both physically and mentally."

He said said: "I have achieved a 5% body weight loss and close to achieving 10%. I have achieved getting back down to 15 stone for the first time in over 15 years.

"MAN v FAT has helped me improve physically and mentally and also improved my confidence within a group."

There are now 100 MAN v FAT football clubs across the UK with more than 7,000 players taking part.

Michael Hurst, a player for Cardiff's MAN v FAT club, has dropped 6 stone since joining the team.

Michael Hurst, a member of Cardiff's Man vs Fat club, seen before and after he dropped 6 stones. Credit: Man vs Fat

"Joining MAN v FAT was a big positive", Michael said.

"It was all about accountability to my team mates. The overall feeling was towards positivity and encouragement which really helped.

"I have been very lucky to have an amazing supportive team who have guided me through the difficult times."

Obesity is a leading public health concern in Wales, according to Public Health Wales, with an estimated 600,000 adults reported to be obese.

Weight loss and match scores contribute to teams’ league positions within a club. Credit: MAN v FAT Newport

MAN v FAT Regional Manager Stuart Normansell said: “Newport is and no doubt will remain one of our flagship clubs in the South West region and that is down to the culture and community aspect they have developed.

"The club had some incredible weight loss figures in its first season and are the current National champions and first ever Welsh champions. That’s some 2021!”