Tournament action from Alive Lynnsport. Pictures: Ian Burt.

FOOTBALL: A group of West Norfolk footballers are fighting a battle on two fronts and charity is proving to be the winner.

The Man v Fat campaign is aimed at helping players with a BMI of more than 27.5 lose weight, while playing the game they enjoy. It also has a mental health angle, so when the chance came to help the King’s Lynn-based 8:56 players leaped at the chance.

Lynn Man v Fat organiser Dean Bax explained: “After I started Man v Fat King’s Lynn in October 2021, I was told about the 8:56 Foundation and, as mental health is close to my heart, I wanted to get behind it as much as I could to spread a bit of awareness and raise some money along the way.”

The foundation was set up to remember Lynn man Lee Calton, who took his own life, and to help others in a similar situation, raising awareness, increasing the profile of support and reducing the stigma associated with mental health. It is named after the train he used to catch to watch football.

Bax, said: “We have more than 120 men in Man v Fat King’s Lynn and we all battle with mental health at some point.

“I decided to arrange a 12-team tournament, kindly sponsored by Charmed Interiors, for the 8:56 Foundation.”

The tournament consisted of 10 Man v Fat teams from as far afield as Grimsby, Peterborough, Boston and Cambridge, with two teams from the 8:56 foundations, teams, including some of Lee’s family.

“The day ran so smoothly and Grimsby Man v Fat faced the 8:56 Foundation in a closely fought final, which the 8:56 Foundation won,” said Bax.

The Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Harry Humphrey, presented medals and the Charmed Interiors 8:56 Foundation Trophy to the successful team.

“The weather was kind to us and lots of people came down to support, including the Morrison community champions, the YMCA SOS bus and we had help from Alive Lynnsport,” said Bax.

“Thanks also go to Radio West Norfolk for the air time to publicise our event, which raised an amazing amount of just over £2,000.”