Lad Lost Over Six Stone Before Scoring Winner In FA Cup Tie
An inspirational lad lost over six stone to get back playing football before going onto scoring a last minute winner in the FA Cup.
At his heaviest, Kieran Amos was 21 stone and six pounds after losing all care for his physical appearance. His diet was wildly unhealthy and exercise was non-existent.
But lockdown proved to be a blessing in disguise for the 24-year-old. He's managed to shed the weight and return to Non-League and last week, on 1 September, proved to be the hero in the 2-1 win over Glenn Tamplin's Romford FC, who play in the league above.
Started lockdown at 21 stone and got myself back playing football after losing 6 and a bit stone.- Kieran Amos (@KieranAmos) September 2, 2020
To say the feeling of popping up in the last minute to score the winner in the FA Cup was unbelievable. What a performance from the lads, fully deserved win. pic.twitter.com/r5lc9yTB2X
Speaking to SPORTbible, Kieran said: "For the last eight years I'd been coaching at Sawbridgeworth Town where I was playing and always said to the manager, 'I'd love to play again'. He set me the task of, 'You lose five stone and we'll sign you on, then it's down to you to get back in the side'.
"That was the first real target and first week of pre-season I was down to the goal they set. I trained all the way through pre-season and then managed to find myself starting on Tuesday night in the FA Cup.
"Popping up in the 91st minute was quite special. I didn't really know how to react, I'm quite glad it was on video because I don't really remember any of it.
"The Sawbo ultras are different class and for them to be still supporting is after the season we've just had is brilliant."
Kieran has been blown away by the response to a video of his last-gasp heroics. It has garnered nearly 4,500 likes and over 200,000 views.
It's an incredible comeback story considering where he was at. Having always played football as a youngster, he snapped his ankle aged 17 and needed it to be completely reconstructed. A downwards spiral followed.
"That's kind of where the weight started to pick up because I'd gone from training every day to doing absolutely nothing," he explained.
"I was always told I put weight on because of the amount I ate but I didn't listen. I always wore baggy t-shirts and clothes. At the height of my weight I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror, I was just disgusted at what I saw.
"Before it was one of them see food diets; I'd see food and eat it. That's what it was like.
"There was no motivation whatsoever. I suppose you're kind of just stuck in a cycle: eat, wake up, eat again, go through a day's work and eat again. That was it really. Takeaways, fry ups, lunch at the café every day. It was not healthy at all."
But then a fire was lit inside him on the first day of lockdown when he stepped onto the scales. From that point onwards, he made wholesale changes - including taking an interest in cooking healthier meals and running nearly as often as Forest Gump did.
"I thought, 'Jesus Christ, I'm not in a good way here'," he admitted.
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"I've completely changed the diet and started exercising. I didn't do any exercise at all for a long period of time and my brother is training to join the marines so he's out all the time. He took me on a run and I must have done about 1 kilometre and then had to stop four of five times.
"That was the motivation to be like, 'You've really got to sort yourself out now'. I was out running six to seven days a week, minimum 5 kilometres a day.
"When the lockdown measures were relaxed I could start going out with a few of my mates who play - one of them just signed for Exeter this week - so I was out training with them three times a week.
"Obviously I don't have my full english breakfasts every day anymore, I've replaced that with weetabix and yoghurt - things like that. At lunch times I'd normally have a soup or a salad, then dinner would be fish or chicken with rice or new potatoes and vegetables.
"I still have a takeaway once a week as a treat and sometimes it's good to have those foods as well - that was the problem though there was no balance and it was all s*** basically.
"Lockdown has given people an opportunity to learn to cook better. I've actually really enjoyed cooking and experimenting with different things that you might not necessarily have time to do. It's been really beneficial in that sense."
His first 5km was completed in 47 minutes, which prompted mixed feelings. On one hand Kieran was happy he'd done the distance but felt it was "very, very slow" given what he used to be able to do it in when he was a sprightly 16-year-old.
Having been "constantly chasing beating my personal best", he's whittled it down to an impressive 21 minutes and 58 seconds.
However, even with his partner, parents and brother regularly telling him how much weight he had lost, self-critical Kieran couldn't see it to begin with. That was until he stepped onto the pitch.
"It kind of all sunk in the other day when I saw the pictures of me out on the pitch lining up with the other lads. It was like, 'Actually, you're nearly there now'."
Kieran, who is a youth worker at New City College's Epping campus, has since scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win as Sawbridge prepare to play St Margaretsbury in the next round of England's iconic knockout cup competition.
He isn't resting on his laurels in any shape or form, however. The weight loss journey is still not complete in his mind, while he still strives to keep progressing with his performances on the pitch.
"More than anything I'm just happy to be out playing. Goals aren't something I regularly score but I'd like to think I can pop up in the box now and again.
"I want to get down to 14 stone, that is my target weight so I've still got a little bit to go. Other than that it's just keeping on top of it and improve in terms of my football.
"I've had eight years out so I was still concerned as to whether I was going to be capable of playing - it was all well and good losing the weight but was I going to be good enough to go out on the pitch?
"I've still played a bit of Sunday football but it's nowhere near the same level and you can kind of walk through it really. Playing in the FA Cup, that's totally different."