A GWENT-BORN strongman who raised a total of £45,000 for charity after the death of both his parents from cancer is retiring after almost 20 years.
Michael Williams, born in Griffithstown, Pontypool, has represented Wales nine times in international power lifting championships as well as having completed 10 truck pulls and 10 double decker bus pulls.
The 48-year-old strongman, who later lived in Cwmbran for 15 years, also has two marathons, a sky dive, two boxing matches and the Great North Run to his name.
But now Mr Williams, who attended the then-called Trevethin Secondary Modern School in Pontypool and used to train in Cwmbran Stadium, is giving it all up.
Mr Williams, who once did a charity truck pull outside the Asda in Cwmbran, said he will still continue training and has been passing on his knowledge to younger powerlifters.
He said: “I will carry on training, and have been training boys who have entered the Welsh Championships. I want to pass on my knowledge and to help people.
“If one person has been saved from cancer because of my fundraising, then that was my motivation to keep going. Helping people is important. I think everyone should do something for charity.”“My dad died of cancer when I was 20 and then in 2005 my mother died. I’ve got no regrets really. If one person has been saved from cancer because of my fundraising, then that was my motivation to keep going.”
Mr Williams, who now drives delivery vans for Terry Howell Timber and Builders Merchants in Risca, said he first got into power lifting through a friend.
He said: “The training is very intense, 320 kg on the deadlift.”
But despite giving up the fundraising truck and bus pulls, Mr Williams said charity is important and at the heart of his motivation.