ENGLAND'S strongest man says achieving the title has been the highlight of his career so far.

Tom Owens, 32, is a personal trainer and coach at New Level Gym in Sunderland and won the title of England's Strongest Man u105kg at the competition organised by Official Strongman.

Tom, who was born in Hexham and lived in Prudhoe until he was a teenager, beat 29 of the best strength athletes in the country on Sunday, April 7 at Kaos Strength Gym in Preston.

Hexham Courant: Tom did the farmer's walk exercise for 69.9m with 130kg per handTom did the farmer's walk exercise for 69.9m with 130kg per hand (Image: Tom Owens)

Winning the competition in his weight category of u105kg means Tom has qualified for the next step up, which is Britain's Strongest Man u105kg.

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"I entered because I've always wanted to be England's Strongest Man, I wanted to be the strongest person in the country. It's always been a massive dream I've had, so to get there and do it is great. It qualifies me for Britain's Strongest Man and it will lead to the international pathway after that." 

Hexham Courant: Tom deadlifted 310kg for nine repsTom deadlifted 310kg for nine reps (Image: Tom Owen)

He said the competition was a "brilliant" experience.

"It was really well run, there was a live stream and commentary, it was just a great thing to be part of," he said.

Speaking of how he feels to have won the competition, Tom said: "I feel a bit knackered at the minute, but overall it's just awesome. When I walked away with the trophy I was just so happy. It's pretty much the highlight of my Strongman career, I'm thrilled."

He said his best advice to share with aspiring Strongmen or women is to find a coach who has "been there and done that" with a good knowledge of the sport.

"That will change the game for you massively. When I was competing before I had a coach I was winging everything, but with someone there to guide you, it changes the entire experience.

Hexham Courant: The log press overhead of 140kg for four repsThe log press overhead of 140kg for four reps (Image: Tom Owens)

"The sport is amazingly good fun and there's nothing quite like it. It's just a brilliant sport to be part of. I love it, it's the best sport in the world for me and everyone I coach loves it as well."  

Tom's next steps are the Official Strongman Record Breakers competition in Ireland this month before participating in the Strongest Man events for Britain and Europe in June and August respectively.

"If I won Europe's Strongest Man, I'd qualify for World's Strongest Man. I'd be absolutely ecstatic and there would be many celebrations if that were to happen. That would be mega," Tom said.