Greg mus­cles his way to top of the world

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Da­mon.wilkin­ @Da­monWilkin­son6

AWAREHOUSE worker from Rochdale has been crowned the World’s Strong­est Dis­abled Man.

Greg Bramwell saw off com­peti­tors from across the globe to take the ti­tle at Lon­don’s Olympic Park

The 31-year-old, from Cron­keyshaw, came out on top af­ter com­pet­ing in five gru­elling events, in­clud­ing a van pull and the fear­some At­las stones.

Greg, a fa­ther-of-one, who was born with a hered­i­tary spinal con­di­tion which means his mo­bil­ity is lim­ited, said the vic­tory was the re­al­i­sa­tion of a life-long dream.

He took up weight-lift­ing aged 19, but it was only when he did a few train­ing ses­sions with one of his strong man he­roes that he be­gan con­cen­trat­ing on com­pet­ing.

He said: “I used to watch the World’s Strong­est Man as a kid, but never thought that as a dis­abled per­son I could do some­thing like that. But a few years ago I did some per­sonal train­ing with Lau­rence Shahlaei (for­merly Europe’s Strong­est Man) and he told me about the World’s Strong­est Dis­abled Man cham­pi­onship.

“Since then that’s been my pur­pose in my life.

“Train­ing gives me a goal and a pur­pose.”

Greg, who fin­ished fifth in last year’s cham­pi­onships and qual­i­fied by win­ning the no­to­ri­ously tough Vik­ing con­test in Ice­land ear­lier this year, says his fam­ily are what in­spire him to push his body to the limit, do­ing four gru­elling train­ing ses­sions a week.

His nine-month old son Leonard and part­ner Sta­cie Brookes were in Lon­don to see him take the tro­phy.

Greg, who works in the parts depart­ment at Millers Van­guard in Bury and trains at the Full Con­tact Per­for­mance Cen­tre in Castle­ton plus spe­cial­ist strong­man gyms in Leigh and Clitheroe, said: “I sac­ri­fice a lot for this. I work from 8am to 5pm then train three nights a week, so I sac­ri­fice a lot of time with Leonard and Sta­cie.

“So to win sort of jus­ti­fied that. It means that when Leonard gets older I can show him I won. I hope I am do­ing him proud. When they read out my name to say I’d won I just thought ‘oh my God.’ I couldn’t be­lieve I’d done it.”

●●Greg Bramwell with the World’s Strong­est Dis­abled Man tro­phy at Lon­don’s Olympic Park and (in­set) com­pet­ing in the Vik­ing Strong­man con­test in Ice­land ear­lier this year

●●Lucy Wil­liams has been se­lected as Wyn­sors of­fi­cial mini shoe tester

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