THE results are in and a football league where the overall aim is to lose has proved to be a winner in Oxford.

Described as 'like weight watchers for men', Man V Fat sees teams of seven players, all looking to lose weight, competing against each other on the football field.

'Goals' are awarded not only for on the pitch success but for the amount of weight lost by the team over the course of the previous week.

The first league launched at the Harcourt Hill campus of Oxford Brookes University in October and has proved such a success that a second league will be launched in Marston in January.

By week nine, the 40 participants in the inaugural competition have lost 170 kilos combined with some losing as much as 10 kilos each.

Coach Chris Lowes said: "Everybody knows about Weight Watchers and there are tonnes of other classes out there for women but very little for men.

"Man V Fat is a supportive environment where every one is in the same boat.

"We weigh all our players before kick off and check in with how their weeks have been.

"We can give guidance and support on healthy eating and what they need to do next to progress.

"For some it's the first exercise they have done in a long time.

"It is never a quick fix but they are all getting better and learning more about keeping healthy.

"Even if you are injured you can still win points for your team and our method means the bigger guys can contribute just as much as some of the fitter ones.

"It's a great incentive to keep coming."

The men play one half-hour game a week in their teams which are called names like ‘Mafuta Madalas', which means ‘big old men’ in Swahili.

After nine games KFC Wombles are running away with it having won seven and lost two, scoring 82.

The first season was free, thanks to funding from Oxford City Council, but a regular league costs £25 a month.

Chris Noone, 47, from Risinghurst is one of the league’s biggest losers having shed 11 pounds since he started playing.

The college worker said: "I wanted to do a bit more exercise and was looking for something demanding but not too professional.

"I reached my goal of losing five per cent of my weight in six weeks and just kept going.

"Some of the stories people have are incredible, a lot of the lads have lost far more than their original goals."

Chris Smith, 29, from Cowley recently got the chance to play a tournament at the FA’s St Georges Park where the England national team train.

He said: “It was incredible, something like that does not often happen to people like me.

"I live for football but have never been able to compete with much fitter people.

"To be able to play against others of the same size and weight is the best of both worlds.

"I wanted to lose some weight and get more active.

"Everyone is here for the same reason and we all support each other.

"It is perfect."