Dad lost so much weight in lockdown his mates at football didn’t recognise him

A football fan lost so much weight over lockdown his pals did not recognise him before a game.

Ian Kirk says he feels "30 years younger" after exercising his way down from 21st 8lbs to just over 12st.

The 61-year-old returned to Huddersfield Town's John Smith's Stadium looking like a new man after capping off his slimmer look with a smart new haircut.

The only down side is Ian's 4XL Terriers shirts now look like baggy stripy pillow cases on him so he has had to buy a new jersey in size large, YorkshireLive reports.

Since joining Slimming World in 2019, the dad-of-two's waistline has dropped from 46 inches to an incredible 32 inches.

Ian from Marsh, West Yorkshire suffered from sky-high blood pressure and was borderline diabetic with an uncertain future.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Ian focused on healthy eating and exercise which saw his appearance transformed.

When football stadiums reopened, friends he hadn't seen for around 12 months did not recognise him on meeting at the .

Ian said: "Friends said, 'I didn't know it was you until you opened your mouth'. I met friends at the stadium and they didn't recognise me even though they had been standing next to me for 10 minutes.

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"They were asking my son Ashley 'where's your dad'."

Ian, who attends a Slimming World group in Netherton, said he wanted to thank the NHS, his family, including wife Yvonne, and Slimming World for helping him.

He says the NHS helped by carrying out surgery on his back which eventually allowed him to walk without pain caused by a spinal condition.

Now he can be seen walking and jogging on a route that takes him from Marsh to Outlane and Longwood and back again.

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He's come a long way since his initial belief that Slimming World was for women only.

He hought that slimming clubs were aimed at women and assumed the focus would be on ‘diet’ food and talking about people’s emotions.

However, he decided to give it a try after a work colleague at Thornton and Ross in Linthwaite, Huddersfield, lost six stone with Slimming World.

Ian said: "Deep down I’d been unhappy with my weight for some time but it took me a long time to face up to it.

"I can honestly say I feel like a different man since losing weight. I feel alive and at least 30 years younger."

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