Forget taking it easy and relaxing in his retirement.

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Former B&B owner Stephen Marriott is set to make his professional wrestling debut - at the age of 62!

Mr Marriott, who lives in Wells, is to compete in a World Association of Wrestling event at Fakenham Community Centre next month.

The matches are not scripted and all of the wrestling is real.

Mr Marriott, who is originally from Scotland and has lived in Wells for the last 16 years, said: “I’m not quite ready for my cardigan with leather buttons on.

“I feel just like I did when I was 18, both physically and in my outlook on life. I’ve always been energetic and hated sitting around.”

At 5ft 7ins, Mr Marriott has a 28 inch waist, 42 inch chest and weighs an impressive 11st 5lbs.

Mr Marriott has always been a fitness fanatic but he began his professional wrestling training in September.

He puts himself through a punishing training schedule.

He spends one full day per week at Grapplers Gym in Norwich, where he is coached by well-known professional wrestler Zak Knight.

He does high-intensity weight-training sessions four times a week and runs five miles every day.

Mr Marriott said he follows a “typically Scottish” diet, eating lots of fish, potatoes, oatmeal and Scotch broth and makes sure he never snacks between meals.

Mr Marriott is softly spoken, but with a heavily tattooed muscular upper body, he is sure to present a formidable presence in the ring.

He said: “It is a very tough sport and you have to be dedicated to it. I’ve been into high-intensity weight training for years and I know I’m a strong guy.

“I don’t know if I will be better or worse than anyone else, I’ll have to see how it goes on the night. But I won’t be intimidated by anyone. If you’re worried about getting hurt, professional wrestling is not for you.

“I feel great and am really looking forward to it. It is extra special to make my debut on my home patch and after this I will look to continue wrestling for as long as I can. This is not just something to tick off the list.

“The guys who train me don’t treat me any differently because of my age, which is perfect.”

World Association of Wrestling promoter Ricky Knight said: “Stephen is in excellent shape and his dedication to training is phenomenal.

“We would normally be reluctant to take on a wrestler starting out at 62, but Stephen is as fit as a 30-year-old. He trains better than some of the younger guys.

“His zest for training and life in general is a credit to him.

“He is up against a 6ft 3inch Polish guy and it will be a tough match but he’s got a chance.”

Mr Marriott decided to become a wrestler after training in mixed martial arts with Craig Lewis at Cromwell Barn gym in Fakenham.

He also trains at Joint Effort in Wells.

He said: “The amount of interest people have shown since I decided to do this has been incredible. I want to thank Craig and Zak for their excellent coaching, Clive Povey and Dan Tidd from 4skin tattooists in Fakenham for their encouragement and everyone else who has supported me.”

The event will be at Fakenham Community Centre on February 16 and will feature several wrestling matches.

Doors open at 7pm. For more information, call 0800 046 8164.

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