MEN who want to shred their weight in the New Year can take part in a new football league set to launch in an Oxfordshire town.

Weight loss programme Man v Fat is coming to Bicester next month.

The league is for men with a BMI of over 25.00 who are concerned about their weight.

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Before matches, players are weighed, followed by a 30-minute game of six-a-side football - with extra goal bonuses awarded to teams based on the amount of weight players have lost.

During the current season, players in the Oxford league have lost a combined 142.8kg of weight and, across the five seasons it has been running, a total of 837.9kg has been lost.

One of the Oxford players encouraging Bicester residents to give Man v Fat a go, is Ashley Towne who successfully lost more than 7.5 stone on the programme.

Oxford Mail: Ashley Towne

He said: “It’s opened my eyes and given me new opportunities, including simple things like being able to go shopping in the High Street and be able to buy clothes that actually fit.

“It’s those little things that others might take for granted and you also make great new friends. You get that camaraderie.

“Man v Fat is a great way to get men who are sensitive about their weight but who don’t really want to admit that they’re overweight. I was in that bracket. I wasn’t sure how to do it and it gave me the tools I needed.”

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Man v Fat can also have a positive impact on other health issues, including Type 2 Diabetes and asthma.

Oxford football player Richard Orme weighed more than 22 stone when he first started playing.

He said: “I came because there was a lot of stuff going on in my life and also because I had asthma and I couldn’t walk up a flight of steps without needing my inhaler.

“I tried the gym, but that bores me. When I started, I was a size 4 XL t-shirt and a 42 inch waist. I’m now a 2 XL t-shirt and a 38 inch waist and I can get up a flight of stairs without needing my inhaler. I’ve gone from needing my inhaler once or twice a day to maybe a few times a week. That’s the important bit.”

More than 90 per cent of those who take part in Man V Fat lose weight and get fitter.

Hannah Pearce, head of programme at Achieve Oxfordshire, said: “We know that the support men receive from their teammates as part of Man v Fat really makes a difference and helps them lose weight week after week.

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“They can get access to new forms of exercise and are encouraged to challenge themselves in the kitchen so that weight loss doesn’t become a chore. The result, as we have seen with others, is that they build healthy habits for life.”

Addressing obesity has become even more important since the onset of the pandemic as people living with obesity are twice as likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19.

The pre-season start date for the new league in Bicester is January 29 with all games taking place on Friday nights at the Whitelands Farm Sports Ground.

For more information, go to, where you can also sign up.

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