CLIVE Biggs might not stand out from the crowd, but when the 58-year-old puts on his judo suit he becomes a ‘beast’.
This is the view of his coach Mark Lammas who has seen Biggs increase his tally of British Judo Masters titles to seven and pick up numerous medals on the international stage.
“He has achieved great things and it should be celebrated because in this area how many British champions and Commonwealth champions have we got? Not many,” Lammas said.
“Clive is the most unassuming person and anybody who has ever met him for the first time would never imagine that he did judo. They would probably think he is more likely to do twiddlywinks, but when you get him on the judo mats he becomes a bit of a beast.”
Biggs suffered a huge injury set back in 2013 when he underwent major knee surgery which cast doubt on his future in the sport.
However, with the help of Lammas, who is head performance coach at Athletic Performance Training in Fairfield, he returned to the mats.
Since then, Biggs has secured back-to-back British titles and Lammas has described him as an ‘inspiration’ for other people thinking of getting involved in judo.
“People can look at him and say ‘this guy is 58-years-old and he has won seven British titles, so why should I think about giving up?’,” Lammas said.
“You don’t have to give up doing something that you enjoy just because of your age.
“When we went to the British Masters in Walsall, there were guys there who were one or two years older than Clive, so he is not the oldest.
“It is a bit of a pick-me-up really as you see these guys and think ‘they are out there doing what they enjoy and not letting age stop them.”
And Lammas insisted Biggs, who is two years short of his 60th birthday, has no plans of ending his 43-year career as he targets more European titles.
“I asked Clive ‘are you now looking to retire from competition as you are pretty much unbeaten and the most prolific fighter in your category? But he said ‘when you get to my age I see it more as a social thing’ as he has got a lot of friends in judo, so he has got no plans to give up,” Lammas added.
“He said ‘when I start losing then I know it is time to stop, but for now while I am winning and enjoying it I don’t want to stop and I still get a buzz when I get on the mats.”