Neil’s half the man he was

Handout photo issued by Slimming World of Neil Richardson after he lost 12st 10lbs, making him Slimming World Man of the Year 2011. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 13, 2011. See PA story CONSUMER Slimmer. Photo credit should read: Slimming World/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by Slimming World of Neil Richardson after he lost 12st 10lbs, making him Slimming World Man of the Year 2011. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 13, 2011. See PA story CONSUMER Slimmer. Photo credit should read: Slimming World/PA Wire
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A SLIMMER who lost half his body weight took action after his daughter’s friend said: “I don’t want to sit with the big fat man.”

Neil Richardson, aged 30, from Barnsley, was known to all as ‘Fat Neil’ before he shed 12st 10lb and is Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2011.

Handout photo issued by Slimming World of Neil Richardson before he lost 12st 10lbs, making him Slimming World Man of the Year 2011. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 13, 2011. See PA story CONSUMER Slimmer. Photo credit should read: Slimming World/PA Wire

Handout photo issued by Slimming World of Neil Richardson before he lost 12st 10lbs, making him Slimming World Man of the Year 2011. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 13, 2011. See PA story CONSUMER Slimmer. Photo credit should read: Slimming World/PA Wire

He was on holiday in Wales when his daughter, Josie, then aged two, asked him to play with her and a little boy. Neil was heartbroken when the boy said: “I don’t want to sit with the big fat man.”

Neil said: “Hearing that and seeing my little girl’s face as her eyes welled up with tears was like being hit by a train.

“It was one thing for my weight to affect me but I realised then that it was affecting my family too and I had to do something.”

Support worker Neil, who was more than 26 stones, joined a Slimming World group. He swapped greasy doner kebabs and takeaways for healthy home made versions.

Neil, who also has a one-year-old son, Charlie, started exercising and said his proudest moment was winning the dads’ egg and spoon race at his daughter’s sports day.