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Ballymena wrestler throws down training gauntlet!

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

ANYONE thinking wrestling is a soft touch should get in touch with Ballymena’s Brian Norton!

Standing 7ft tall, and weighing in at 25 stone, he challenges anyone out there wishing to go a round of training with him to get in touch!

“A lot of people think we are in the ring for the fun of it , and enjoy the thumps and knocks,” Norton told Guardian Sport.

“But belive me there is much more to the sport than that.”

Big Brian has the injury list to prove it that all is not sweet in the world of wrestling.

Norton has played body double of Game of Thrones favourite Hodor.

Although known as a shy, mild-mannered administration officer for the Civil Service by day - by night, in the wrestling ring, the 34-year-old becomes 'The Northern Ireland Nightmare'!

Last week he starred in the family-friendly wrestling show in Coleraine Town Hall.

'Wrestling.IE' is on tour throughout Northern Ireland and the South.

Brian has been a wresting fan since the late 90s when WWF had a massive following.

He thoroughly enjoys taking part in the sport, saying it is his release value, enabling him to let himself go when in the ring.

At the age of 19 Brian took a crash course on wrestling in Portsmouth and became hooked.

When he was 23 he was successful in trying out for the WWE and spent 10 months wrestling in Florida.

The former Ballymena Academy pupil could have been quite an asset for the school rugby team but he admits he wasn't interested in that sport.

Remarkably the big fellow proudly points out he has never been in a real fight - even considering he was a club doorman in Belfast, and a Traffic Warden in Ballymena!

Brian says as a doorman he worked on the basis, if you treat people with respect, they usually return the favour.

Weighing 30 stone at one time he decided he had to do something about his weight after seeing photographs of himself at his brother's wedding.

He said he was "shocked and disgusted" at what he saw and immediately signed up at the gym.

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