'I thought Clooney was there': Crowd go wild as Stafford 81-year-old smashes weightlifting world record
An 81-year-old great-grandad has broken a weightlifting world record – as fans proclaimed it was 'the best thing they have seen in their lives'.
Muscle man Pat Harvey, from Stafford, deadlifted 135kg and bench-pressed 62.5kg at the British Unequipped Single Lift Championships – setting a new record for his age category.
The father of five, grandad of 13 and great-grandad of 12 proved age is no obstacle by breaking the record on his first attempt then lifting even heavier on the following two attempts.
He had to beat 125kg to break the deadlift record at the event held at Weston-super-Mare which is organised by the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation.
He said: “To be honest it is just a surreal feeling, I still cannot believe it.
"People were going wild. Young lads were coming up and giving me fist punches and the crowd went bananas. I thought George Clooney had walked behind me.
"People said it was the best thing they had seen in their lives.
"I was holding back a little in case someone from Russia saw the record and tries to beat mine so I can come back and beat it again.”
The former boxing coach trains four days a week for three hours at LS Health Club on Astonfields Industrial Estate, which paid for his expenses to compete and Legend Nutrition sponsored him.
He added: "I had been retired for four years in 2013 and I had not done any competitive lifting whatsoever. My wife said I should go for it and I did but I did not think I would get anything.
"I want to encourage older people to not be afraid of exercise because a lot of the ones at my gym walk around in circles for fitness classes."
He is aiming to break the world record for squatting in his age category next.