Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Ulster's biggest fry defeated as man tackles 34-piece monster meal

Belfast man Martin Cooper in action as he beats the big fry challenge

IT'S known as Goliath – and for good reason.

But now the mighty warrior of the Ulster fry has been defeated – by a humble man who's trying to lose weight.

North Belfast's Martin Cooper is the toast of big eaters everywhere after he became the first person to complete the gut-busting 34-piece fry offered up by an east Belfast cafe.

More than 50 people tried and failed to finish the Goliath XXL breakfast at the Newton Cafe Brunch Bar on the Newtownards Road. That was until the 23-year-old office temp, known as Marty, read about the cafe's food challenge on the Belfast Telegraph website and decided to give it a go.

He has previous food challenge form, having devoured a 64oz steak and 18 pickled eggs in the past.

Marty had 45 minutes to eat the tray of fried food on Monday, which he washed down with water and a cup of tea.

"It was delicious," he said.

The breakfast includes sausages, bacon, eggs, potato bread, pancakes, soda bread, toast, hash browns, black puddings, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and chips.

He began with the beans and chips, working on the theory they would taste the worst if left to a cold end.

After that, he worked his way through the platter, picking randomly at various ingredients.

Halfway through he was doing well, but began to slow towards the end of his 45 minutes. And he finished off the last morsel just in time.

"It was a bit cold at the end. It took me 44 minutes to eat. I just made it," he said.

"I had to force the last bit into me. I found the chips and beans the hardest part."

Marty has undergone an astonishing transformation over the last year by losing more than five stone, but says he is still "a big guy with a big appetite".

The former Aquinas Grammar pupil said: "I used to be a big, big boy – about 21 stone. But over the last year I've lost about five stone, so I'm around 16 stone now.

"I've been going to the gym every day with my girlfriend Maja. I feel so much healthier, but in terms of eating, when I want to I can bring it on.

"I treat myself to a fry every so often, but not 34 pieces.

"My girlfriend thinks all this is hilarious. Everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame and mine is for eating a dirty big fry!"

David Gough, who owns the Newton Cafe, said he was "so delighted" someone had finally beaten Goliath XXL. "So far 52 people have tried the fry but Marty is the only one to finish the outrageously large meal."

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