A HARTLEPOOL strongman is looking forward to flexing his muscles when he represents Great Britain in a world championships in America.
Beefcake Gareth Eddy lifts huge stone boulders, pulls trucks and lifts huge weights for fun by competing in strongman events up and down the country.
Now he will fly the flag for the UK after qualifying for the World Strongman Championships in Columbus, Ohio, next year.
The teaching assistant, and also doorman, will be one of only around 50 musclemen at the prestigious event when he is in with a chance of winning the $75,000 first place prize (almost £50,000).
Former rugby player Gareth, 27, from the Owton Manor area of town, began entering the competitions after injury ended his playing career.
“I used to play for Gloucester then came back to town and played for West Hartlepool,” he said.
“I got kicked in the head and had bleeding on the brain. The doctor said I couldn’t play any more.
“A lad I work on the doors with did strongman events and asked me to go along and have a go. I just loved it straightaway.
“I’ve always played competitive sport and felt a bit lost.
“I’ve been doing it for about 18 months now and have done pretty well considering I’m not a professional.”
Gareth, 27, who works at Catcote Academy, in Hartlepool, earned his place at the world championships after qualifying via northern, England and Britain heats.
At the Elite Britain Strongman Challenge, Gareth tested his strength in events such as pulling a truck, dragging a 400 kilo chain and lifting boulders weighing 130 kilos onto ledges.
He added: “The top five from the England competition are invited to go to the world championships in America.
“The best in the world go there and the top 10 appear on TV at Christmas.
Gareth, who weighs 22-stone, trains by pulling buses in Consett, County Durham, and pumping iron at Extreme Fitness gym in Hartlepool.
He is appealing to town businesses for help to fund the trip to America which will cost him around £500.
Firm Red Sugar, which runs Loons bar, where Gareth works on the door on a weekend, have made a donation.
If you can help email Gareth at email@example.com