Competitive weight loss at Luton's Man V FAT Football

Two Luton men are scoring goals on the scales, as they have joined a new weight-loss sports league called Man V FAT Football.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 11:32 am
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 12:44 pm
Keith Russell

Victor Childs and Keith Russell have been dribbling balls and shedding pounds in order to change their lives.

The league, which now boasts more than 6,500 players, was originally launched in Solihull, with its Luton lads based at Lea Manor Recreation Centre, and since joining the town’s league, Keith has lost over 10 per cent of his body weight over the season.

He said: “The best thing for me is that I went on a five-mile run with my dad who is super fit and runs marathons for fun - he couldn’t keep up!”

The photo that inspired Keith to change!

It was seeing a photo of himself that inspired Keith to make a change, and after some initial struggles, he powered through and saw a dramatic change in his weight thanks to the support of his team mates.

Keith said: “I had let myself go in the last couple of years and, while at work one day I was giving a colleague a month award and noticed the picture of myself which I thought looked awful; I needed to do something about it.

“That was in September and the league started towards the end of October/November and I haven’t looked back since.

“There were some initial struggles in the first couple of weeks, because I went cold turkey chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks so that was tough especially when Christmas came around. But I have had a good support network.

Victor Childs

“I have tried diets in the past but because it is just me on my own it seems to fade away - now there is that sense of responsibility for the team; I don’t want to let the other guys down.”

Meanwhile, Victor, who has dropped 17kg from his starting weight of 119.2kg, can now be “a bit more of a role model” to his children thanks to his new found fitness.

He said: “This is the ideal combination if you like football and you want to lose weight as you get to be part of the team ethic again. Another thing is the mentality side. You have to be committed from the start that you want to do this and as long as you do that you will lose weight.

“When I first started it was all about losing a little bit of weight and playing football every week – as it was something I have missed.

The photo that inspired Keith to change!

But as the weeks went on it became less about the football and a bit more about the weight-loss and the competitive spirit you get when you see some of your friends losing more weight than you and you are trying to egg yourself on to go that extra mile.

“There is the camaraderie and the support you get from your teammates, the WhatsApp groups and the pointers you get from Lee the head coach and your team-mates. I am one of only two people so far this season who has lost weight every week throughout the programme so that is another motivator for me, to make sure I lose weight every week and complete full season of losing weight each session, which is a really good achievement!”

Registration for the fourth league is at Futures House, The Moakes, on March 12, 7.30pm.

Victor Childs