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John Barnes' weight journey - how the Harry's Heroes star shed the pounds

The former football legend is on a mission

Alice Howarth

John Barnes' has spoken openly over the years about his weight loss journey and how his body has fluctuated since retiring from professional football in 1999. Now, the former England player has teamed up with Harry Redknapp for the show, Harry’s Heroes: The Full English, to take 12 football legends from the '90s and get them back to their peak. But, how did he get back to his?

Back when he was playing professionally, John weighed just 12 stone but this jumped up to 16 in the years following his retirement. Having a gruelling schedule of training every day combined with professional sport dieticians on hand to guide with meal plans and keep him in check, it's not surprising he was at his lowest weight when competing. He would later put his extra stones down to a combination of junk food and lack of exercise. 

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In 2009, ten years after leaving the field, the now commentator spoke to the Guardian about his diet. When asked if he was healthy, he said: "In mind yes, but not in body - I can't resist fast food. McDonald's, Burger King, KFC... I'd eat it every day if I could."

He also revealed he hardly worked out. "I'm quite unfit. It's the motivation that's the problem, I need a goal. When I was a professional footballer I trained every day because I had to".

Now, despite being Harry's on-hand assistant, John has revealed he is hoping to shed the pounds on the show too. Revealing why he decided to join the football weightloss show, John, who is father to seven children, said: “I’ve let myself go and I have to do something about it because I know I’m unfit and have put weight on. I’ve decided to do it… I will do it.”

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He and Harry actually appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show to talk more about their brand new ITV show. Harry Redknapp said: “You look at the group there [who are involved in the show] and they were real top players but once you stop playing, it’s difficult. They’ve probably spent their old lives training and being careful with what they eat and so they probably let themselves go when they finished playing. Some of them got back in great shape, not all of them… Some of them.”

We can't wait to see all the transformation. 

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