SPORT England and The Football Association (FA) have joined forces to fund MAN v FAT Football across England.

The leagues will be run exclusively for the 68 per-cent of men who are overweight or obese and, uniquely, are decided not just on games won, but pounds lost.

MAN v FAT Football launched in Solihull in January 2016 with just 80 players. Since then more than 5,500 players have joined the leagues and lost nearly 64 tons in weight between them. Across the leagues more than 90 per-cent of players lose weight and 93 per-cent report health improvements.

Sport England and the FA have now announced that they will fund 20 leagues. Their success will be evaluated by the physical activity specialists from The University of East Anglia.

Mike Diaper is Executive Director at Sport England and said: "We're delighted to support this hugely innovative scheme which gives inactive and overweight men the confidence to lose weight, gain fitness and improve their well-being through football.

"The investment of £19,000 of National Lottery funding will provide support to communities where it can make a massive difference."

Andy Dyke is National Participation Manager for the FA. He said: "The MAN v FAT programme continues to be a really positive intervention for so many people and the programme being rolled out into the regions will serve to assist many more. Like us, they really believe football is for all."

The support of Sport England and The FA means that taking part in many of the leagues will be free or subsided for the players, giving more than 1,200 inactive men the perfect opportunity to get back into sport and address any concerns that they may have around their weight.

The unique aspect of MAN v FAT Football is that players weigh in before every game. So the final results are decided not just on the score on the pitch, but as a result of goal bonuses that teams earn from their weight loss.

This enables players with limited mobility and disabilities to join the teams and still be a top performer for their side, simply by losing weight each week.

Andrew Shanahan is Managing Director of MAN v FAT Football and said: “We’re delighted to work with Sport England and The FA to bring the leagues where losers win, to those who need it across England.

"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 Slough league is weight.”

Builder Ben Gallon became one of the first MAN v FAT Footballers when he joined the first free league in Solihull in January 2016.

He said: “I was obese and facing a knee operation which I only really needed because of my weight.

"I saw this and thought I would give it a go with my brother. I love football and I desperately needed to lose weight.

“After a season I had lost over 26 per-cent of my body weight and unsurprisingly my knee was no longer an issue.

"I’ve since gone on to work as a coach with MAN v FAT Football because I believe that it’s an amazing opportunity for men to get back into football and get healthier.”

The MAN v FAT Football program will be delivered by Active Slough (Slough Borough Council) and launches at Arbour Park Community Stadium from January 29 2018. It will run every Monday for the next 14 weeks. It costs £9.99 to register (refundable upon completion) and is completely free of charge for the first season.

Players can join up at and they can get more information by calling 0845 163 0042 or emailing

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