A ‘bionic’ powerlifter plans to compete at almost 90-years-old and is now training in his garage while on coronavirus lockdown.
And even a triple bypass, a hip replacement, a pacemaker and two stents hasn’t stopped Ted Brown dominating the powerlifter scene, winning world titles.
Ted proved the medics wrong when they told his mother he would not survive after being born in 1930 weighing just 2 lbs 6ozs.
His mum kept him alive in a shoe box wrapped in cotton wool and olive oil and put him in front of the fireplace for warmth.
She even used a fountain pen filler to feed him and and bathed him in a milk jug.
The 89-year-old former postman has gone on to dominate the British powerlifting scene in a 70-year-career which includes nine world and 30 British titles.
Ted, who wears cochlear implants so he can hear, continues to compete in the veteran categories despite several bouts of poor health.
The great grandfather of eight said: “As far as I know, I think I’m the only 90-year-old class to still be competing in British championships.
“I had a triple bypass, a hip replacement and a pacemaker, two stents. You name it. I’m bionic.”
The former BT worker competed last month in the bench press at The British Classic contest and is due to lift in All England Bench Press in Bedford in June.
The competition is still due to take place, despite the coronavirus which Ted said was “more frightening than World War Two.”
Ted, who was born in Chiswick, south west London, survived World War Two after being relocated several times as a child to avoid the bombings.
He credits his strength and survival to his mother who used unorthodox techniques to keep him alive and defy the doctors’ gloomy predictions.
Ted said: “I have to thank my mother who proved him wrong. She kept me alive in a shoe box wrapped in cotton wool and olive oil and placed in front of a black leaded range fireplace. I was fed by means of a fountain pen filler and bathed in a milk jug.”
After the war, Ted was approached to become a jockey, owing to his light build, but his mother declined the offer, so he took up weightlifting instead.
He said: “My interest in weight training started because I was very small for my age.
“I got involved with a chap who ran a small gym. He was quite interested in me being part and parcel of the powerlifting scene.”
Ted put powerlifting to one side to start a family with his wife Irene, who was his neighbour before they married in 1954.
But his passion for the sport continued and after a decade of smashing records on the national circuit, he finally set his sights globally in 1982 – when he travelled to compete in North Carolina, US.
Aged 51 he was crowned world champion for his category in his age group and added four new world records to his name.
It was his first of nine world and three European Titles which he won for a range of squatting and deadlifting feats.
The highlight of Ted’s career was meeting the Queen at an event to celebrate her fourth decade on the throne.
He said: “My most memorable time throughout my sporting career was when the Queen invited all British World Champions and wives to her garden party.
“It came one day before April 1st – April Fools Day – so I thought it was a joke but it turned out to be genuine and the Queen actually spoke to me.”
Ted was struck down by a triple bypass followed by a massive stomach haemorrhage six weeks later – but it did not deter him from competing as soon as he could.
In 2012 Ted competed in the the World Drug Free Powerlifting Championships in Glasgow.
He smashed the world record in every lift in the 60kg weight class for over 80s, after he squatted 107.5 kg, bench pressed 85 kg and deadlifted 145 kg.
The super grandad has also repeatedly overshadowed much younger competitors.
In 2013, he faced a 28-year-old in a deadlift challenge.
He said: “I had to deadlift my bodyweight 20 times against the chosen contestant who had his body weight on his bar.
“The first to get to 20 reps would win. He was 28 years-old and very fit, but I got to 20 and he managed 18.”
Last year Ted underwent a total hip replacement meaning he could no longer squat or deadlift and had to stick to the bench press – for which he held the British Masters record for an 81kg lift.
Doctors have since told Ted that his right carotid artery – which delivers blood to the head – is 80 per cent blocked, leading to renewed calls from his family to quit lifting.
Ted has two children with his wife Irene as well as six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
He said: “I think they’re obviously proud of what I’ve done, but they now think because of my age and because I’ve had loads of different problems health wise. They think it’s time I should pack it in.”
Ted has signed up to this year’s British Classic Bench Press contest – where he will be classed in the 90+ age group category.
The octogenarian is currently on lockdown with his wife due to the coronavirus outbreak, but continues to train from his garage.
He added: “I think I shall carry on as long as I can because it is part and parcel of my life.”
Ted said he wanted to thank staff at Milton Keynes Hospital for saving my life and to my wife for “putting up with me for all these years.”
His beloved gym has now closed, but he continues to keep in shape from home in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.
He said: “At the moment my wife and I are in lock down so I’m not going to the gym, although I am able to train in my garage.
“My philosophy in life is as I have always quoted is to “do what you can while you can as there will come a time when you can’t.”