UK's oldest competitive weightlifter is still pumping iron at the age of 87

The UK's oldest competitive weightlifter is still pumping iron - at the age of 87.

Bill Despard started weight training aged 15 years old, and works out seven days a week, for three hours per day.

The great-grandad describes the sport as “my life”, and earned a silver medal in the 81kg category at at the European Masters Weightlifting Championship in Poland.

Bill trains every day at the Kilwinning Olympic Weightlifting Club, in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, which he has run for more than 20 years.

He was tipped to the gold medal by a Polish OAP the same age as him - but Bill has won medals in the USA, South Africa and Japan.

His dog, Holly, a 17-year-old Staffie, keeps him company in the gym.

Bill said: “I made a wee bit of history for Scotland as the oldest ever weightlifter to compete at a competition.

“I enjoyed it, it was a terrific atmosphere and I was just hoping to get a medal.

"There were more than 1,400 lifters taking part over the week.

“A guy from Poland beat me, he is 87.

“I got a new hip last year which has slowed me down a little, it makes me a bit apprehensive when I’m lifting the heavier weights, but I finished second and got a silver medal."

He has five competitions to look forward to in 2023.

Bill had his right breast removed when he was 16 due to cancer, before getting back to competing at 18, and said his replacement hip has made him “very cagey” in fear of further injury.

Bill said: “I love doing it, I love the sport.

"It’s been good to me physically, it’s been great to me."