COUNTY NEWS: Mr Universe competitors have still got it nearly 50 years on

TWO former Mr Universe competitors are still pumping iron at the grand old ages of 74 and 80, respectively.

Ted Pollard and John Bubb are both members of Inspire Leisure in Rustington

John Bubb, 80, from East Preston, finished second to Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 1968 Mr Universe contest in Victoria Palace, London.

Meanwhile, 74-year-old Ted Pollard, also from East Preston, realised a boyhood dream when he took to the stage at the 1967 competition.

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Both are still sculpting their physiques as members of Inspire Leisure, in Sea Road, Rustington.

Former Mr Universe competitors Ted Pollard and John Bubb prove they've still got it

John, a seven-time Mr Universe competitor, said: “The last five I was in the professionals and never placed outside the first four.

“In ‘68 I was second to Arnold. It was just the best of the rest. He was naturally better really – bigger, stronger, taller. He weighed about 40lbs more than me.

“I started when I was about 15, and I was just fascinated by it. I was always more interested in individual sports. I just had natural potential. I used to grow like a mushroom. I still enjoy it. I just enjoy training. It’s a bit of a challenge, but I come down here three or four times a week.”

Originally from Barbados, Ted started weight training at the age of seven. He has enjoyed a successful career in showbusiness having worked around the world with the likes of Sofia Loren and Italian actor Walter Chiari.

High definition: Ted Pollard does a wide grip pull-up Picture: Rob Collins

He said: “The reason I wanted to be in Mr Universe? It was a boyhood dream. After I entered it, I changed my training programme and I trained myself for showbusiness. I was smart enough to combine gymnastics and flexibility work to run parallel with my bodybuilding. Regardless of what you do in the gym if you allow your flexibility to remain stagnant you’re building a foundation on quicksand.

“It’s in my blood to keep fit. I like to walk down the street knowing that if someone tries to take advantage of me there’s a 99 per cent chance they will lose.”

Andrew Smith, Inspire central manager, said: “I think it’s absolutely amazing we have two men over 70 that are so fit and Ted especially is a fantastic example. I don’t know of any other 70 year old that can carry out the exercises he can do.”

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The friends stretch it out Picture: Rob Collins

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