A FATHER is looking forward to playing football with his children again after his remarkable weight loss.

Matthew Riggs, 32, from Basildon, lost seven stone in just eight months through sheer hard work and determination after a friend urged him to get down the gym.

When he was at his heaviest – 24 stone and nine pounds – Matthew would fall asleep all the time, had no energy and couldn’t even motivate himself to do anything with family and friends.

But what got to him the most was not being able to keep up with his seven-year-old son Harrison when having a kick-about in the park.

Matthew was at Harrison’s football match in March, when his friend gave him some hard-hitting advice.

The father-of-two, said: “I was at my son’s football match and I was so out of breath just walking from one five-a-side pitch to the next.

“My friend said to me ‘come on mate, come to the gym with me, we need to get you in shape.’.

“He went on to say ‘you have two young kids, Harrison, three-year-old Emily, and a wife, the way you are going you’re a walking heart attack.’.

“This hit me hard as I was thinking about my dad having two heart attacks at 36 and 42-years-old.

“I knew he was right, and I was coming up to the same age my dad was when he had his first heart attack.”

Matthew felt embarrassed at thought of walking into a “muscle-man gym” and looking like “the fat guy”.

He added: “I thought no way can I go in there, I’m going to look silly.

“It’s hard to walk into a gym when you’re the fat guy but I agreed to go along.”

Matthew hasn’t looked back since, and shed the weight by going to the gym every day for one hour, cutting out alcohol and junk food and making healthy meals which he says keeps him motivated.