Life changing

How you help others to get fit through football

As footie fever grips the nation, the power and popularity of football is helping more and more men lose weight and experience the benefits of getting active thanks to you playing The National Lottery.

“I was obese and facing a knee operation, which I only really needed because of my weight,” says builder Ben Gallon. I saw MAN v FAT footballers and thought I’d give it a go with my brother. I love football and I desperately needed to lose weight.”

Ben became one of the first people to join National Lottery funded MAN v FAT footballers when he joined the first free league in Solihull in January 2016.

His story is a familiar one among men in the UK – more than 67% of men are overweight or obese, according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE). However, by using the power and popularity of football, more and more men are now losing weight and experiencing the benefits associated with getting active.

The only thing you have to lose by joining the league is weight. More than 4,500 players have joined the leagues and lost nearly 50 tons of weight between them since the launch over 18 months ago. Across the leagues, more than 90% of players lose weight and 93% report health improvements.

Andrew Shanahan, managing director of MAN v FAT Football, which has received over £190,000 of National Lottery funding through Sport England, said, "We’ve seen how positive the leagues are as a way of supporting men who want to lose weight and get more active. What’s brilliant is that, because of this funding, we can bring these leagues without the normal fees for players, so the only thing you have to lose by joining the league is weight.”

Fancy a kick about while getting fitter? Find your nearest MAN V FAT football league.

Over the last 24 years we’ve created over 5,350 millionaires and funded more than 565,000 National Lottery projects - discover more life-changing stories.

Discover more
Please wait