Encouragement from his two daughters inspired Dan Gardner to become a champion strongman.

The 38-year-old, from Somersham, was watching the World's Strongest Man competition on TV at Christmas when he was urged on by his daughters, Charley and Ruby, to see if he could earn a place at next year's event.

Despite his initial reservations, Dan was reminded by his girls that there's "no such word as can't" - a phrase they had become used to him telling them - and he was determined to show them that anything is possible.

He said: "The next day I went into the gym with a new found sense of commitment and determination to prove to both my daughters that with hard work and confidence in yourself you can achieve anything."

Dan joined Just In Gyms, in Old Hurst, and enlisted the services of personal trainer Liam Rushmer. Together, the duo regularly clocked up more than 20 hours a week in the gym and, by July, Dan was ready to enter Suffolk's Strongest Man.

An impressive debut performance saw Dan place second, thereby earning him a spot at the East of England's Strongest Man competition, but he had little more than a month to prepare.

Dan said: "During those six weeks the training was more intense with extended hours in the gym as the weights went up and up."

The East of England finals took place on September 19, in Great Dunmow, Essex, and despite coming up against the best lifters from across four counties, Dan powered his way to victory.

To clinch the title, he completed a 100kg log press, 110kg farmer's walk for 40m, 255kg deadlift, 300kg super yolk for 20m, 55kg giant dumbbell press and a Hercules car hold.

Dan said: "It might not be World's Strongest Man yet, but winning East of England's Strongest Man is amazing and just proves to my girls, you can do whatever you set your mind to."

Dan will return to training soon in preparation for England's Strongest Man, which is scheduled to take place next April.

For more information, contact Liam on 07738493150 or visit www.liamrushmer.com

To follow Dan or discuss sponsorship contact him via his Facebook page - Dan Gardner or at familymantostrongman@outlook.com