Sheffield & Wakefield MANvFAT FC are a unique club born out of two goals shared between all of their players. Firstly, to lose weight, get fit and have fun whilst doing so. And secondly, to help support their community.

If you’ve never heard of MANvFAT Football, it’s an initiative that takes place in towns and cities up and down the country, with the aim of improving men’s health in a supportive but competitive environment.

Last year, players from both the Sheffield and Wakefield branches decided to get together and take things to the next level and form an 11-a-side team.

We’ve spoken to one of the club’s founders, Guy, to find out more about the club ⬇️

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Tell us how and why your club was formed.

Sheffield & Wakefield Man V Fat FC was formed back in December 2021. We are all part of the Man V Fat programme that runs on a Tuesday night at St George’s Park in Sheffield and Aspire at the Park in Wakefield on a Friday night.

Initially we started out last summer just as Sheffield but it never took off. This time around though it really seems to be flying and we have more than 40 players on our books. We are all overweight and in that sense, we are all in the same boat. Some lads are blowing after 10 minutes, others can do 90 minutes, but we have an unbelievably good team spirit and it’s only getting better.

The 11-a-side team gives our lads something to look forward to and we have each other’s backs.

Talk to us about the “extra-curricular” work the club has been doing and plans to do.

When we were ordering our shirts, we realised we had sponsorship space free. We could have tried getting a local business on board or advertised one of our players’ companies, but we decided to give some exposure to Sheffield Flourish. They do some unbelievably good work for those struggling with their mental health in South Yorkshire and they also run the FA-affiliated Flourish League which we hope to be a part of later this year. 

On top of that, we decided to support the S6 Foodbank. As a bunch of fat lads, we have all got something in our cupboards to hand over to those who actually need it. Alison and Chris from the foodbank are incredible at what they do and we couldn’t believe the scale of the operation. Our captain James helps bring in regular donations during our Tuesday night sessions and we are just about to put the finishing touches to our Foodbank Charity Tournament which takes place on Sunday 26 June. 

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What do you think makes your club special/unique?

I think many of us just want to play football but being a bit bigger or not as fit as when we were younger, we perhaps felt intimidated by the skinnier lads who just ran rings around us. It wasn’t really until Covid hit that I realised how important exercise, diet and just socialising is to individuals. We have gone from just a handful of players to a proper club with tournaments, social nights out and even looking forward to the drunken voice note in the group chat at whatever time on a Saturday evening. 

We are blessed to have the players we have and hopefully we can use that to give back to Sheffield and Wakefield in the community as well. 

Tell us about your plans for the club. What do you want it to look like in 5 years time?

Hopefully we will be a bit slimmer! If we are still fatties in five years’ time then we haven’t really achieved what we’ve set out for. A well-established group of players with multiple teams would be great. There are lots of things we can do with our club, whether that’s opening it up to a women’s team or a smaller setup for kids – we should be able to use what we have achieved and apply it to anybody else who wants to benefit from what we have managed to create.

Obviously in 10 years, we fully expect to be lifting The League Two trophy…

Tell us a little about your kit/equipment. Have you been happy with the products and service Kitlocker have provided?

With Kitlocker being based in Sheffield, I have always tried to order whatever we have from them. The prices are the best around, and the delivery is almost immediate – we have never been let down whatsoever. Everything has looked class. We should also give a special mention to The Print Room in Hillsborough, especially Joe, who has helped us establish a striking kit with bespoke badges. 

Kitlocker is definitely our go-to for new shirts, supplies and balls and we hope to carry on having them as part of our setup on our way to the football league…

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Get in Touch

We think you’ll agree that Sheffield & Wakefield MANvFAT FC are a pretty special club and encapsulate everything that grassroots football should be about. Big thanks to Guy Bell for speaking to us and Reece Theobald for the pics.

Give them a follow on twitter to keep up to date with what they are up to. Also, keep your eyes peeled for news of their charity tournament next month and how you can get involved.

And if you are carrying a bit of extra timber, why not check out MANvFAT Football? There are locations all over the country so there’ll be a league somewhere near you.

Watch out for more from the Kitlocker Club Focus series in the coming weeks and months on our socials.

Has your club got an interesting story to tell? If so, we want to here it! Give us a shout on our socials to let us know.

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