A PENSIONER and former power lifting world champion from Southminster has been given his wish of watching a weightlifting competition.

Tom Johnston, 86, has been living at Southminster Residential Home since 2014 and is a former British, European and World Champion power lifter, who suffers from dementia.

He spent many years in the profession and has many awards and memories, including a friendship with world famous bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Despite his condition, he has had a wish to get back into his former profession and watch a weightlifting competition.

The staff at the residential home, including Home Manager Liz Wynn wanted to help Mr Johnston receive his wish, and so put it out on to Tesco Maldon’s wishing washing line, which allows care home staff to post the wishes of their residents with the help of the Friends and Neighbours (FaNs) charity for passers-by to see.

The wish was noticed by Damian Rees and Adam Fosbrook of Xtreme Gym in Danbury, and who paid Mr Johnston a visit and invited him along to a power lifting event in Colchester on Sunday.

Mr Johnston was recognised by some of the judges at the event from his glory days, and found the experience “a pure joy”.

Liz Wynn, of Southminster Residential Home, said: “Tom absolutely loved meeting up with some current power lifters who came here to the residential home to visit him, and when he attended a competition in Colchester on Sunday one of the judges recognised Tom from his early days.

“His face was a picture of pure delight being surrounded by people with the same interest, and he was very keen to do a lift once again, which he achieved with a lot of cheers from the other gym members and supporters.

“We are currently making wishes come true for other residents, as a result of the emotion that this has stirred in Tom.

“Huge thank you to those at FaNs and Xtreme Gym for making him so happy and granting him his wish.”

For more information about FaNs, visit www.fansnetwork.org.