MEET the bodybuilding world’s answer to Posh and Becks.
David O’Byrne, 50, is celebrating after becoming a British Champion bodybuilder in Manchester at the weekend - with wife Dawn, also a bodybuilder, by his side.
Although he was always a fit man, David’s amazing rise to fame comes just eight months since taking up the sport.
He said: “I cannot believe I have won the British Championships, and I am now off to Miami for the world competition.
“It is amazing how far I have come.
“I went to the gym when I was 20, because I had meningitis and lost some use of my legs, so I tried to strengthen them up a bit.
“Then I met my wife Dawn (Roberts) at a bodybuilding event and for the past 25 years, I kept getting asked to join the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation. Dawn had commitments and had to stop the sport, but then she wanted one last go when she was 39.
“I said that I would do it when I was 50 – not thinking anyone would hold me to it.
“I had always been interested in sport, so in January I had to do it.”
David, a company director, has lost five-and-a-half stone since January, and competed at qualifying events, followed by the British finals at the weekend.
He said:“I went on a strict diet to get ready for the competitions.
“It meant that I was not able to play rugby for a year. Some of my team-mates saw me recently and could not believe how different I was, and even asked if I was ill.
“I went to the qualifiers with a mohican and a Hulk Hogan moustache, because I did not expect to do anything in the Masters Over-50s.
“I knew I would be competing against people who have been doing it all their lives, so I did not expect to win.
“It was great to win, and then I went to the British event and won that too.
“I was hoping that my diet might have finished, but with all the competitions, it means that I am still training.”
David trains at the X-fit Gym, off Friday Street, in Chorley, and admits it has been tough challenge.
He said: “It has been difficult, especially when you have had no carbohydrates and trying to hold a meeting on a Monday morning.
“It makes me feel a little bit guilty when I think that, years ago, Dawn was training for events while she had to cook me my egg, bacon, sausage and then my bucket of Doritos, when she was drinking water and eating rice cakes.”
Dawn, who is also training for an event, said: “I am so proud of him.
“I knew that he was a big guy and that he was going to have lose weight, so that he could show off his muscles.
“It is great that he has lost weight, and he has done it all naturally, instead of using steroids.
“It has all been about his diet and training.”
David added: “I am really happy that Dawn has been there, because you push each other hard.
“If one of you does not want to do power walk at 5am, then the other person helps you to.”