A NEW season is getting underway - but players and officials from the Taunton Man v Fat football league took time out recently to celebrate the success of those taking part.

The league is a weightloss programme for men based around a six-a-side football league, where every player has an opportunity to influence the result due to a unique scoring system that rewards individual and team weight loss in addition to the scores on the pitch.

And since it started last August, the Taunton league has seen some incredible results both on and off the pitch, with over half a tonne of weight lost.

Jack Murphy, who lives in Taunton, has played in the league since it started.

And his efforts on and off the pitch have seen him lose more than 4 stone over the last 12 months.

"Taking part in this league has totally changed my life and I am now lighter and fitter than I have been in years," said Jack, 24.

"I have met a great bunch of lads who are all there for the same reason and that helps both on and off the pitch with loads of banter and camaraderie all through the week and not just on a Sunday morning.

"It really doesn't matter if you are the best footballer because everybody gets the chance to score goals through their weight loss so we all have a say in the overall result regardless of the score on the pitch."

Man v Fat Football coach, Gavin Holman, added: "This programme brings men from all backgrounds together in a non-judgemental, friendly environment where everyone supports everyone else, regardless of team allegiance, to work towards the overall aim of living a lighter, fitter and healthier life."

The Taunton league takes place at Castle School Sports Centre each Sunday morning, between 10am and noon, and is open to all men aged 16+ with a BMI over 27.5.

Anyone interested in taking part can find more at www.manvfatfootball.org/taunton.

Somerset County Gazette:

TEAM EFFORT: Some of the players in Taunton

Somerset County Gazette:

AWARDS: Some of those handed out to players in Taunton