AFC Wimbledon’s Adebayo Akinfenwa hopes to ‘Beast’ bench press charity challenge

AFC Wimbledon star Adebayo Akinfenwa is set to bench-press a club director at a charity gala this weekend.

The striker, known as ‘The Beast’ by fans because of his massive muscles, sportingly accepted the challenge to lift the club’s Commercial Director Ivor Heller.

“I don’t think he weighs more than 180 so it shouldn’t be a problem with me lifting him up!” said Akinfenwa, 32, who is listed as the planet’s strongest player on videogame FIFA 14.

The striker, who scored his first goals for the club in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Burton Albion, is delighted to raise money for a good cause.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it. It should be a laugh and anything where we can raise money I’m behind it.”

The Paul Strank Charity Gala is taking place this Saturday September 20 at the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehampton.

Actor Christopher Biggins is hosting the event and tweeted his excitement.

He said: “Please come we are going to have a ball.”

EastEnders star John Partridge, who played Christian, and Britain’s Got Talent impressionist Francine Lewis are also appearing at the gala.

It is being organised by Wimbledon firm Paul Strank Roofing Ltd, who also sponsor a stand at the Dons’ Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Event coordinator Irene Strank, 51, said they are aiming to raise £50,000 for chosen charities OneLife UK and Shooting Star Chase.

“We’d like to raise as much money as possible and as much awareness for these charities,” said Mrs Strank.

OneLife UK are a London-based charity helping vulnerable young people realise their full potential in music, dance and drama.

Mr and Mrs Strank have been patrons of the charity for five years.

Mete Alpsakarya, co-founder of OneLife UK, said: “Paul and are Irene are a great help. They’re always there to support what OneLife does.

“They’re fantastic ambassadors for the charity and we’re privileged to have them.”

Mr Alpsakarya added that the money raised at the gala will help the charity as they expand into 44 more primary schools in Sutton and employ 18 new teachers.

Shooting Star Chase is a leading children’s hospice caring for kids with life-limiting conditions.

Donations towards Akinfenwa’s bench-press can be made at or by texting XESX98 and your donation amount to 70070.

Picture courtesy of Rob Cornell, with thanks.

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