SANTA joined in for a kickabout as a programme helping overweight men holds their pre-Christmas football fun.

MAN v FAT Football is a nationwide project that focuses on helping men lose weight by having fun playing football.

They have a six-a-side football club coming in Maldon for pre-season starting in the new year.

There is also one for the Braintree district, at Colne Road in Halstead.

The football programme has already helped more than 15,000 men across the UK tackle obesity, specifically aimed at overweight and obese men with a BMI of higher than 27.5.

Before matches, players are weighed, which is followed by a 30-minute game of six-a-side.

Extra bonuses are awarded to teams based on the amount of weight players have lost.

Players involved also receive additional support including healthy meal recipe ideas and tips on general fitness.

The total amount of weight lost by MAN v FAT players in the UK currently stands at

around 317,000 pounds.

Richard Crick, head of MAN v FAT Football, said: “Everyone knows that Santa is a little on the heavy side.

“It might be one of the things we love about him but ultimately it’s not great for his health and wellbeing.

“That’s why we were excited to have him join us to see that MAN v FAT is about more than simply weight.”

The Maldon club pre-season launches on Wednesday January 12 and will play at Plume Academy, Fambridge Road, from 8pm-10pm.

The Braintree pre-season starts on Friday, January 28, at the same times.

To get involved, visit, call 0345 163 1042 or email