A WIRRAL dad overcame serious injuries to lose five stones in nine months, after joining a marine-style fitness class.

After Richard Dean from Thingwall sustained two ankle injuries back in 2006/07 - requiring seven months in a plaster of Paris. This was later compounded by a back injury with two slipped disks.

He started piling on the pounds, eventually reaching more than 20 stones and became more frustrated as he approached his 40th birthday. He had once been extremely fit and enjoyed playing football at a good level.

Richard, 41, now weighs in at 14 stone 12 lbs puts his success down to a Wirral-based military fitness techniques devised by Command X-Fit which recently celebrated its first birthday.

Commando X-Fit owner, Tom Tranfield, an ex-Royal Marine - in Commando 45 - puts his eight years’ experience in the military to use by supporting people of all ages to regain their levels of fitness and create more positive thinking. So far, he’s helped hundreds of adults as well as children through a Wirral schools initiative programme.

Richard said: “In May 2014 I was due to turn 40-years-old so I made another conscious effort to lose weight with sessions at the gym.

"However, this did not last too long as I experienced another epic failure and had to have surgery on a slipped disc.

"Because of the excess weight I was carrying and my lack of mobility the recovery was very slow – as a result my weight climbing back up again, towards 20 stone.

"Then in August 2014, I noticed a boot camp taking place being run by Royal Marine Commandos. After watching for a few minutes at Pensby sports complex, I thought I’ll give that a go!

"I made contact with Tom and explained to him my physical condition and that I was still recovering from surgery to my back.

"He encouraged me to attend the next High Performance Training session – this takes place in the open air.

"Tom drew up a fitness plan for me as well as giving me advice on diet and exercise which helped me to change my attitude.”

Commando X-Fit was founded by ex-Royal Marine Tom Tranfield. He said: "Richard has shown a lot of commitment and dedication and is an example of how anyone with the right support can turn their life around and get fit, active and be positive again.

"His wife, Allison, recently told me I'd saved his life!

"It is great to see him fit and happy - he enjoys the camaraderie with the other troops and has become a popular figure."

In mid-May Richard took part in ‘Granite Warriors’ on and around Thurstaston beach.

Teams competed against one another and were required to pull trucks, disassemble and re-assemble mock cannons and carrying their components up and down the sandy cliff face.