Tom Stoltman has enjoyed quite the whirlwind few weeks.
The 28-year-old has just defended his World’s Strongest Man title, days after watching his beloved Rangers in the Europa League final.
The football mad strongman then was proudly involved in Soccer Aid, sharing the field with some of his childhood heroes.
For those unfamiliar with Stoltman, he is the 6ft8in Scotsman who has enjoyed a tremendously rapid rise on the strongman world stage.
Football was always his passion as a child, but switched to weight training after seeing his brother Luke enjoy success at Scotland’s Strongest Man.
He entered his first competition at age 18, before progressing to being Scotland’s Strongest Man in 2018, after three consecutive years of finishing second.
His first World’s Strongest Man, the ultimate strongman competition, was in 2017 and won the whole thing in 2021.
Stoltman then incredibly defended his his title in May and he admitted it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
He told talkSPORT: “I’ve not had time to think about it. I came home from Worlds and went to Soccer Aid. I’m going to be able to enjoy it down at the Zip sponsored Myprotein Labs event this weekend.
“It’s going to be a wee celebration for me as well, you have people who are going to ask about it and I think there’s going to be a lot of questions about being back-to-back World’s Strongest Man.
“That’s still sinking in. To win two titles at 27, it’s unheard for myself. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I did it and it was a good feeling for myself and a very good achievement for myself.”
Stoltman has matched the achievements of British strongman legend Geoff Capes and eclipsed the recent record of hero Eddie Hall.
Hall has been a huge inspiration for the Scot and he admitted he has been a huge influence on his life.
“Eddie Hall, for me, made the blueprint for strongmen in the UK and beyond,” Stoltman said. “He won in 2017 and even before that I don’t know when the last British guy was.
“I’ve always looked up to Eddie Hall, he’s always said a lot of nice things to me since day one.
“He’s always said I’m going to be the next whatever to win World’s Strongest Man, even when he won it in 2017.
“I love him as a strongman and person. He’s done so much for me to help my confidence in the sport and out of it as well. He’s helped me grow as a person.
“He’s taken me into his house for a week and trained, for him to do that and put time for myself and my brother, it’s unbelievable.
“Eddie Hall is a massive part of my life.”
Just days before defending his World’s Strongest Man title, Stoltman travelled to Seville to watch Rangers lose in the Europa League final to Eintracht Frankfurt.
He had to fly straight to Sacramento in California and some eyebrows had been raised about his preparations.
“I’m not going to miss that,” Stoltman admitted of the game. “I got a lot of negativity about going over there with training and stuff and saying how I wasn’t taking World’s Strongest Man seriously.
“People need to realise you need a balance in your life. When you do this job as a strongman, you do a lot of stuff behind the scenes and need somewhere where you can go and be a kid and do something you enjoy.
“For me, it’s going to football games. That’s what I enjoy and I try to go to Rangers week in, week out.
“I travel eight hour round trips to go to Ibrox. When Seville came, I booked it straight away and was lucky enough to get a ticket.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life. Not the result, but just being out there and getting to witness that in my lifetime.
“I flew home at 2am and then went to Worlds at 7am. I left the internet to the talking and trolling.
“I ended up winning World’s Strongest Man and shut a lot of people up, which was good.
“I will just keep doing what I’m doing, it seems to be working.
“Seville was up there with the best days of my life.”
Stoltman has had a few memorable life milestones in recent weeks, culminating with Soccer Aid where he played in the same side as the likes of Usain Bolt, Andriy Shevchenko and Cafu.
“That was the best day of my life,” he said. “It tops the World’s Strongest Man. I’ve obviously loved football my whole life and to get that phone call to say I’m going to be standing on a pitch with [Andriy] Shevchenko, Cafu and World Cup winners.
“It was an unbelievable experience. Even if I’d have had a broken leg, I’d have been there.
“It was for a good cause and raising £15million for Unicef was unbelievable, to be part of that was unbelievable.”
He added: “To party with Usain Bolt, Mark Noble, Shevchenko, Arsene Wenger, I was just like ‘this shouldn’t be happening to me’. It was very cool.”
Football is a huge part of Stoltman’s life and he tries to go to Rangers week in, week out. His idols include Paul Gascoigne and talkSPORT’s very own Ally McCoist.
“Ally is one of the guys I’ve not been able to meet at all. I’ve spoken to him on social media, but whenever he’s in the highlands, I’m away.
“Or when I’m in Glasgow, he’s away.
“I listen to him on talkSPORT and he’s one of the funniest guys you’ll meet. I really want to meet him, because what a night you could have together.”
Tom Stoltman will be headlining the MyProtein Labs LIVE event in London on 18th & 19th June, with tickets available on Eventbrite. You can now spread the cost of your MyProtein products across four, interest-free instalments via the Zip app: www.zip.co/uk.