Roy of the Rovers stuff! Sawbridgeworth Town footballer Kieran Amos loses 7st in lockdown then scores FA Cup winner and league hat trick
Footballer Kieran Amos lost a staggering 7st during lockdown – and then scored the last-minute winner in an FA Cup tie in a real Roy of the Rovers story.
And the 24-year-old centre half – who had to stop four times on his first 1k run – followed it up by scoring a hat trick in his side's first league game.
Former Bishop's Stortford High School pupil Kieran weighed in at 21st 6lb on the first day of the coronavirus pandemic. He was so shocked he immediately embarked on a new diet and fitness regime.
He lost so much weight that he was able to restart his football career – eight years after his last senior game – and was picked for Sawbridgeworth Town in their FA Cup extra preliminary round tie against Romford last Tuesday. He celebrated by scoring the 89th-minute winner in their 2-1 victory.
It was an astonishing achievement for Kieran, of The Thatchers, Bishop's Stortford, who had gradually put on weight since suffering a nasty ankle injury, which required reconstructive surgery, when he was a teenager. Just to get onto the the pitch was remarkable, but to net the winner was a dream come true.
The former Bishop's Stortford Academy player said: “I'm so pleased. I was embarrassed to look at myself in the mirror six months ago and now I'm playing in the FA Cup. I knew I had to change my mindset and lose weight.
“I completely changed my diet – no more kebabs, take-outs and fry-ups, and in came yoghurt, fish and rice.
"I started going out running with my brother Cameron, but my first 1km run in March saw me stop four times before I finished it. My first 5km took me 47 minutes but then last month it was down to 21 minutes 58 seconds."
He added: “Since scoring the winner I've not slept for two nights.”
His fairy-tale return to playing got even better on Saturday when he scored three goals in Sawbridgeworth's first game of the new Essex Senior League, Premier Division season, a 5-2 win at Southend Manor.
The hosts took the lead with a close-range effort after 11 minutes. After that the visitors took control, as Amos scored two first-half goals in 13 minutes, both assisted by Rowan Dorling.
Manor equalised two minutes after the restart, but Sawbridgeworth regained the lead in the 58th minute when Cavhan Clark pounced on a loose ball to score.
Further goals from Horace Ormsby in the 84th minute and the completion of Amos's hat-trick – a free kick from outside the penalty area with the last kick of the match – rounded off the scoring.
Kieran said: “To get a hat-trick in our first league match after scoring the winner in an FA Cup match is beyond my wildest dreams. I'm so pleased – and it shows what anyone can do when they put their mind to it."
He paid tribute to the support he received from his partner Faye Gallaway, Sawbridgeworth manager Lee Mackman and his parents Trevor and Paula. “Without them I just couldn't have achieved this,” he said.
* Last Friday night Takeley played in the Essex Senior League's opening game away to West Essex, which ended 1-1. Stansted started their league campaign on Saturday at home to Clapton and drew 2-2 at Hargrave Park.
On Tuesday evening (Sept 8), Sawbridgeworth are at home to Clapton, Takeley host Hoddesdon while Stansted are away to Walthamstow.