Peterborough ‘Man V Fat’: football team reach national final in name of player who died during game

Roger Izzard Memorial Trophy is a nationwide tournament named after a man who died when he suffered heart failure on the pitch at a Man V Fat football league night in 2020.

By Adam Barker
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:28 pm
Peterborough's 'Man V Fat' 11-a-side football team have reached the final of a national tournament.
Peterborough's 'Man V Fat' 11-a-side football team have reached the final of a national tournament.

A Peterborough football team, made up of men with BMIs of over 27.5, have reached the final of a national competition.

Man V Fat is a national initiative helping men to lose weight by playing football and first launched its six-a-side league in Peterborough in May 2017.

The city’s 11-a-side team has now reached the final of the Roger Izzard Memorial Trophy, an annual Man V Fat football tournament named after a man who died following a cardiac arrest during a match in 2020.

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Peterborough 'Man V Fat' after winning the semi-final on Sunday (May 22).

“Even if we lose the final I’ll still be proud of everything the lads have put into it,” Martyn Bedford, Peterborough Man V Fat manager and player, said.

“To win it, I’d be extremely proud - I don’t think it would sink in for a couple of days.”

Martyn weighed 120kg when he first joined Man V Fat over three years ago.

The lowest weight he managed to get down to was 75kg.

Captain James Kavanagh after semi-final victory.

He has now said he will step aside to make way for other men hoping to lose weight through the initiative.

“There have been five or six new lads sign-up to join in the last couple of weeks because they have seen their friends do it,” he said.

“Me stepping aside could help other people. I don’t want to hold someone else up if they could lose the weight.

“For me, to win the tournament would be a nice end to an era. It would be nice to walk away a champion.”

Peterborough Man V Fat beat Portsmouth 6-2 in the final of the southern tournament on May 22.

They will now take on West Bromwich Albion in the national final this Sunday (May 29), which will be an all-day event at Ilkeston Town Football Club’s Manor Ground.

Adult tickets cost £5 and under-18s are free. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here (adult tickets / under-18s tickets).

Proceeds of ticket sales will go to the British Heart Foundation.