A FORMER cage fighter turned good life fanatic needed some assistance to load his heavyweight pumpkin into a van to transport it to a charity for the homeless.

John Murphy grew the whopping 17-stone veg - which tips the scales at the same weight as himself - on one of his allotment patches.

He has now donated it to the Open Door, in Mary Street, Taunton, to be made into soup for people living on the streets.

John has given two other pumpkins, which weigh in at a combined 26 stone, to Super Juice, a healthy smoothie and juice bar in the town centre.

He was given the seeds by a friend who grew the biggest pumpkin on the allotments off Hamilton Road last year and with a lot of tlc from himself and his fiancee Siobhan Handley managed to produce his monster vegetables.

"The largest one was so big I decided to give it to the Open Door soup kitchen," said John.

"Siobhan and I are Catholics and we thought it was something positive to do with it.

"It's that time of year when you start thinking about that sort of thing. It's a charity quite close to our hearts."

John delivered the other two pumpkins to Marcus Darby and Alex Frost at Super Juice.

"They produce really healthy things there, it's like a doctor in a cup," added John. "What they make stops your body becoming deficient in the first place.

"They'll be making pumpkin pie, juices, pumpkin bread, pumpkin brownies and chilli pumpkin soup.

"I made one condition when I gave them the pumpkins, that they donate 50p for each sale to Open Door."
John grows an assortment of fruit and veg on his four allotments and only goes food shopping for a few extra items.