MAN v FAT Football – an FA-endorsed 14 week football league exclusively for the 68% of UK men who are overweight or obese has three leagues running in Somerset.

Back of the net! MAN v FAT Football is up and running again in Bridgwater in 2020, following another successful 12 months in the town.

The football league is exclusively for overweight men and unique in that players can score points for their team both on and off the pitch. Players are rewarded for their weight loss performance as well as their footballing performance, and this is the key to the programme’s phenomenal success so far.

MAN v FAT Football also has leagues in Taunton and Yeovil, as men in Somerset get the chance to shed those extra pounds.

With 90% of players losing weight in MAN v FAT leagues across the country, and some players losing up to 70lbs during a 14 week league, it’s no wonder that the leagues have been so popular and won several awards including the ukactive Healthy Community Award.

Set up by Andrew Shanahan, who himself lost five stone and was fed-up with weight loss classes aimed just at women, MAN v FAT Football combines the beautiful game with easy to follow diet and lifestyle advice as well as 24/7 support. There’s the traditional weigh-ins before each game, but this is then followed-up by a 30 minute game of six-a-side football.

Extra goal bonuses are awarded depending on the pounds lost by the players, so it becomes a real team effort. With players choosing team names such as 17 Stone Roses, Borussia Munching Flapjack and OB City – it’s clear that the men enjoy the opportunity to get back on the pitch.

MAN v FAT’s Head of Football Richard Crick said,

“We’ve seen that MAN v FAT Football can have an incredible impact on the health of our players with 90% of players losing weight and 93% reporting improvements from a range of conditions such as curing sleep apnoea to reversing diabetes.

“Our players have now lost more than 250,000 lbs and these numbers are continuing to grow week on week.”

Andy Dyke, National Participation Manager of Recreational Football at the Football Association said,

“Football doesn’t begin and end with the professional game, there are different levels and styles of football played throughout the UK.

“MAN v FAT Football is a brilliant initiative for anyone who wants to address their weight and start working their way back into playing football. The results of the leagues are extremely impressive.

“You might be thinking that your footballing days are behind you, but MAN v FAT Football is a great bridge back into the national game. The FA are happy to back the scheme and suggest that players visit to get started.”

Chris Fenton, joined MAN v FAT Football and has now dropped over 5 stone,

“MAN V FAT Football gave me a kick up the behind and made me realise how bad my health was. I was then put into a group of lads who all had the same goals to play football and to lose weight.

“It gives me a focus and a desire to lose weight and as the weeks go on I feel better about myself. I have more energy and for the first time I’m able to play with my kids without getting tired. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity and would recommend it to any man.”

Players can join up at and they can get more information by calling 0345 163 1042 or emailing [email protected]

Bridgwater League:
Robert Blake and Elmwood Leisure,
Hamp Avenue,
(Thursdays 7.30pm to 9.30pm

There are over 20 million overweight and obese men in the UK, accounting for nearly 7 out of every 10 men. The issue of weight has become such a concern that a recent report suggested that the government should treat this as the number one public health concern. Despite this, funding has been cut to local authorities and men are nearly 300% less likely to get support for their weight than women.

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