In his football-playing heyday Hearts legend John Robertson was known for his scoreline rather than his waistline.
But despite once being a top sportsman, the former Tynecastle legend has now admitted that after years of putting his body through the wringer he will need a hip replacement.
And as he bids to get back in shape to improve his weight and his blood pressure, the Jambo’s all-time leading goal-scorer admitted he had gone from eating up the opposition to eating all the wrong foods.
In a bid to shape-up the 50-year-old has now embraced a fitness craze called Power Plate which involves exercising on vibrating platforms which make muscles work up to six times harder.
Starting on Monday, his eight-week Summer Fitness Challenge will see him take on three 25-minute sessions a week with help from Fitness Studio EH1 in the West End.
He said: “When I was no longer tearing up the pitch burning thousands of calories, it was much easier to put on weight.
“When I was diagnosed with an arthritic hip, I didn’t know what to do to keep up my fitness and I got demotivated. I hadn’t been in a gym for five years. My cholesterol was high, my blood pressure was high and I said to myself ‘Enough is enough. I have to do something’.”
Robbo accepted the eight-week challenge from training specialist Fitness Studio EH1 – but stressed he has no desire to return to match fitness.
“The first time I tried it I felt sick,” he said. “It’s really tough but it takes a lot of pressure off my hip, for which I will need a replacement at some stage.
“I’m not going to come back looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger but hopefully this will get me on the road to a much healthier lifestyle.”
The striker, nicknamed The Hammer of Hibs, declined to reveal his current weight and has also refused to set himself a target other than improving his health.
But he blamed his expanding waistline on snacking and his love for fizzy drinks like Lucozade Sport. He also vowed to improve his diet by eating more fresh fruit and cutting down on fatty foods and alcoholic drinks.
He said: “My problem is I’m a nibbler, I tend to snack. But my new routine will be about sitting down and eating properly.”
Helen Gray, owner of Fitness Studio EH1, said: “Power Plate training can be as gentle or intense as you like. It really is for everyone. We certainly look forward to seeing a few new faces down at the studio to help cheer Robbo on.”
Recent years have seen a rise in the number of people requiring hip replacement surgery for advanced osteoarthritis, with the youngest age bracket affected between 45 and 54.