Monday 27 March 2017

Powerlifter Bill beats booze to claim 100 records ... 'all thanks to my wonderful wife'

Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor

THIS is the 67-year-old Dublin powerlifter who is breaking world records, pushing more than 242kg.

Bill Healy, who has been training in the Hercules Club on Lurgan Street since 1986 holds at least 100 world records in the sport.

Bill said his wife Jane is a "fantastic woman who has become a powerlifting widow" because of the amount of time he spends in the gym.

However, the achievement he is most proud of is winning his battle with alcohol.

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"After about six months off the drink my first daughter's communion was coming up. We were all dressed up after saving thousands of pounds," he said.

"In the pub afterwards someone put a pint in front of me and I spent three-quarters-of-an-hour contemplating drinking it. I did and it was the worst decision of my life.

"My youngest daughter was born two months later and I had to borrow money for her pram."

Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Billy Healy, Weightlifter, Hercules Gym, Linenhall Parade, Dublin 7. Photo: Douglas O'Connor

Since then, Bill has refused to step foot in a pub.

"My wife was behind me all the time telling me to give it up. She's a wonderful woman and she'd had enough and I gave it up in 1991," he said. "There were better things I needed in life."

Going into the Global Powerlifting Committee World Championship in Serbia last year, Bill was struggling with a leg injury yet still broke five world records. He lifted 242.5kg on a deadlift, 174.5kg on a bench press and 210.5kg on a squat.

His son Wayne and grandson Wayne Jnr also compete in the sport, and their huge success has helped to create something of a family dynasty. Bill and Wayne Jnr are hoping to compete in the world championships in the Czech Republic this year.

His other grandsons, Calvin and Harry, who have autism, also compete, and Bill described their achievements as "superhuman".

"When you think back when you started in the sport and now there's three generations of us doing it, it's special," said Bill.

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