August 14, 2022

‘If you talk football, you talk Glasgow Rangers’

Tom Stoltman triumphed as the World’s Strongest Man in 2021 and his surname was further etched into the history books when it was added to a road sign in his hometown, announcing to visitors they were entering the territory of the world’s strongest brothers.

Tom’s older brother, Luke, is Europe’s Strongest Man.

For a small-town boy who had struggled with autism until he found the gym, lifting the most prestigious title in the sport of strongman was huge.

Tom Stoltman, the 2021 World’s Strongest Man, says the gym saved his life. (Photo: Reign Body Fuel)

Stoltman previously told JOE how teachers implied he would “never amount to anything” or live independently.

“I don’t remember much of my childhood because for anyone with autism it’s like a nightmare.

“If I didn’t find the gym when I was 16 or 17, I could have gone down different paths.”

Under the guidance of Luke, 10 years his senior, Tom discovered strongman and soon began competing.

“Gyms are really easy to get into because of the routine. That’s what I needed was a routine.”

After finishing fifth in World’s Strongest Man in 2019 and second in 2020, Tom went one better in 2021.

But despite becoming the strongest man on the planet, Tom’s highlight of 2021 was far less weighty. It was a tweet.

Tom was congratulated on his victory by Rangers, the football club he has supported since childhood. The exchange even kicked off a dialogue with the club’s players.

“Glasgow Rangers tweeted me once I won World’s Strongest Man,” said Tom with a cheeky grin.

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“If you talk football, you talk Glasgow Rangers. Everybody knows who they are and they’re the most successful team in the world,” the 27-year-old told JOE.

Tom grew up in Invergordon, 190 miles from Glasgow in the Scottish Highlands, but is a regular at Ibrox and at Rangers away games.

“They’re a massive club and it’s massive to think they’re tweeting me,” he added.

Stoltman isn’t far wrong in his estimation of Rangers’ success. According to The Mirror, only Egyptian club Al Ahly have won more silverware.

“I have a lot of Rangers Football Club players who I talk to almost every single day now. I’m getting players messaging me, joking about with me – it’s crazy. I still don’t believe it.”

When Luke suggested Tom might receive a message from arch-rivals Celtic, his response was damning.

“I’ll never win World’s Strongest Man again if that happens!” said Tom as Luke bellowed with laughter.

The Stoltman brothers’ triumph is also a triumph of immigration.

“Our grandfather came to Scotland from Poland,” Luke said.

“The name ‘Stoltman’ isn’t Scottish, but now you see it over three signs on the way into Invergordon. It’s quite a surreal feeling.”

Tom added: “Winning World’s Strongest Man was good, but having your name on a sign in your hometown is going to be there for life.”

 

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Tom Stoltman is a Reign Body Fuel ambassador. Watch the first episode of his new short-form documentary series entitled ‘The Gym Saved My Life’ here.