Britain's Strongest Man

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Britain's Strongest Man (or "BSM") is an annual strongman event held in the United Kingdom. Competitors qualify for the final through regional heats and the winner is awarded the title of "Britain's Strongest Man".[1] The competition is produced by TWI and serves as a qualifying event for the World's Strongest Man ("WSM") competition, also a TWI production.

History[edit]

In a history that has close parallels with that of the World's Strongest Man competition, the BSM competition has had a number of sponsors and, at different times, has had to vie with rival competitions that also claim to produce the strongest man in Britain as their champion. The inaugural competition was in 1979[2] and was organised by TWI. It was covered by the BBC. The final contest involved the field athletes Geoff Capes and Jim Whitehead, weightlifter Andy Drzewiecki, powerlifter Ray Nobile, Highland Games specialists Bill Anderson and Grant Anderson, wrestler Big Pat Roach, and Tosher Killingback; it was won by Geoff Capes.[3] The contestants were there by invitation. The format continued until 1984. There was then a break of three years, from 1985 through 1988, before the competition returned in 1989. In 1986, there was a "Britain's Most Powerful Man" and, in 1988, a competition was organised by Geoff Capes and David Webster to find a successor to Geoff Capes, called the John Smith's Trial of Strength. The results of these competitions are often deemed to be equivalent to Britain's Strongest Man given the lack of a competition in those years. The IFSA, after its creation in the mid-nineties, managed the event but parted company with TW1 after the completion of the 2004 event. TW1 have managed to have the event televised since the BBC opted out in 2004, with Sky One covering it in 2005, and Five in 2007 and 2008. The competition is currently sponsored by Met-Rx.

Events[edit]

Events for the competition include tyre flips, chain drags, Atlas stones and keg tossing.[4]

Rival and parallel competitions[edit]

  • In 2005 the 'IFSA Strongman British Championship' (or "British Championships (IFSA)") was held in direct competition with the BSM. However, this was short lived, lasting just one year, with the more established BSM gaining better sponsorship (from Met-Rx) and television coverage (Sky One) largely due to its longevity, its quaifying status for World's Strongest Man and also its perception amongst the strongman community as the chief competition. The winner of this breakaway competition, Mark Felix, has since put his energies into competing in the BSM.
  • A more enduring rival competition is the UK Strongest Man 'Ultimate Strength Challenge', which began in 1992 and still continues today. However, competing in the BSM and the UKSC is not mutually exclusive and competitors are free to compete in both. This event is run by the UKSC - the UK Strength Council, and focuses more on pure strength rather than strength and speed.
  • Other rival or parallel competitions that should not be confused with the BSM are:

List of champions[edit]

Year Champion Runner-up 3rd place Location
2014 England Eddie Hall England Graham Hicks England Laurence Shahlaei Doncaster Dome, Doncaster
2013 England Laurence Shahlaei England Terry Hollands England Mark FelixNote 2 Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead
2012 England Laurence Shahlaei England Terry Hollands England Chris Gearing Colchester, Essex
2011 See Clash of the Giants below
2010 Not held
2009 Not held
2008 England Jimmy MarkuNote 1 England Terry Hollands England Mark FelixNote 2 Minehead
2007 England Terry Hollands England Mark FelixNote 2 England Darren Sadler Minehead
2006 England Oli Thompson England Mark FelixNote 2 England Terry Hollands Isle of Man
2005 England Mick Gosling Republic of Ireland Carl Waitoa England Ade Rollinson Dudley Castle
2004 England Rich Gosling England Ade Rollinson England Oli Thompson Minehead
2003 England Rich Gosling Scotland Gregor Edmunds Northern Ireland Glenn Ross Scarborough
2002 England Marc Iliffe Scotland Gregor Edmunds England Bill Pittuck Haven Holiday Park and Criccieth Castle
2001 Northern Ireland Glenn Ross England Rob Dixon England Adrian Rollinson Minehead
2000 Northern Ireland Glenn Ross England Steve Brooks Scotland Brian Bell Alton Towers
1999 Northern Ireland Glenn Ross England Steve Brooks Scotland Jamie Barr Alton Towers
1998 England Jamie Reeves England Russ Bradley Northern Ireland Glenn Ross TBC
1997 England Rob Dixon Northern Ireland Glenn Ross Wales Gary Taylor TBC
1996 Wales Gary Taylor TBC TBC TBC
1995 Scotland Forbes Cowan Wales Gary Taylor Scotland Jamie Barr Gateshead
1994 England Bill Pittuck TBC TBC TBC
1993 Scotland Forbes Cowan Wales Gary Taylor? TBC TBC
1992 England Jamie Reeves TBC TBC TBC
1991 Wales Gary Taylor Christopher Miles TBC TBC
1990 England Adrian Smith Wales Gary Taylor TBC TBC
1989 England Jamie Reeves TBC TBC TBC
1988
John Smith's Trial of Strength
England Jamie Reeves England Mark Higgins Jersey Peter Tregloan TBC
1987 Not Held
1986
Britain's Most Powerful Man
England Pete TancredNote 2 Peter Davis Joe Walker TBC
1985 Not held
1984   Alan Crossley England Pete Tancred & England Peter Welch TBC TBC
1983 England Geoff Capes Scotland Jack Hynd Wales John Burns TBC
1982 England Richard Slaney Scotland Hamish Davidson England Andy Drzewiecki & England Errol Carnegie & England Peter Welch TBC
1981 England Geoff Capes Scotland Hamish Davidson England Richard Slaney TBC
1980 England Richard Slaney Scotland Jack Hynd England Steve Zetolofsky TBC
1979 England Geoff Capes Scotland Bill Anderson TBC TBC

Notes[edit]

  1. Jimmy Marku was formerly of  Albania.
  2. Mark Felix was formerly of Grenada.
  3. "Britain's Most Powerful Man " was the name of the competition in 1986

Clash of the Giants[edit]

In 2011, an event was organised in Boroughbridge advertised to allow spectators to see "top British strongmen compete to take a step closer towards a place at World's Strongest Man". The event was organised by multiple World's Strongest Man entrant Darren Sadler and the top two places, won by Rob Frampton and Jack McIntosh, received invitations to North Carolina to compete at the 32nd World's Strongest Man. Clash of the Giants was designed to fill the void left by the absence of the Britain's Strongest Man competition last held in 2008, much as the 1988 John Smith's Trial of Strength had been created following the discontinuation of the BSM in 1984. Unlike the BSM, which is the final stage of a knockout competition comprising a number of regional and national rounds, the Clash of the Giants was a singular event. Because there was no regional tiered competition preceding, it there was no prerequisite that the Clash of the Giants have a field of athletes representing each area of Britain and notably all the athletes competing were English. In addition, the three most successful British strength athletes actively competing at the time, namely Hollands, Felix and Shahlaei, had qualified for the WSM via international grand prix events and did not compete.

Championships by country[edit]

Country Titles
 England 23
 Northern Ireland 4
 Scotland 2
 Wales 2

Repeat champions[edit]

Champion Times
England Jamie Reeves 4
England Geoff Capes 3
Northern Ireland Glenn Ross 3
England Richard Slaney 2
Wales Gary Taylor 2
Scotland Forbes Cowan 2
England Rich Gosling 2
England Laurence Shahlaei 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Retrieved from archive.org showing qualifiers
  2. ^ David Webster, Sons of Samson Volume 2 Profiles, page 78 (Ironmind Enterprises), ISBN 0-926888-06-4
  3. ^ BFI film and tv database
  4. ^ List of events

External links[edit]