South Shields dog walk champ sheds five stone to enjoy new leash of life

A charity champion says he feels like a new man after shedding more than five stone in less than a year.

Organiser Tony Carlisle ahead of the 2018 Great North Dog Walk
Organiser Tony Carlisle ahead of the 2018 Great North Dog Walk

Tony Carlisle, is currently riding on the crest of a wave when it comes to his health and his event The Great North Dog Walk.

Not only has the annual charity fundraiser smashed last year’s registration figures by more than 1,000, the Dogs Trust - the UK’s largest dog welfare charity - has also come on board to support the event.

Organiser Tony Carlisle ahead of the 2018 Great North Dog Walk

The 61-year-old’s health has also been boosted thanks to his weight loss over the past 11 months.

Dad-of-three Tony said: “When I retired from teaching my weight started to creep up and I was nearly 21 stone. Then the health problems started, with problems with my foot I was unable to train and I just felt I was on a downward spiral. I had to do it, I had to make the changes to my lifestyle as I’ve got three girls to think about.”

In 2013, Tony suffered a heart attack and underwent heart surgery, he was also diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

But after changing his eating habits, stopped his self-confessed grazing of food and late night snacks, he has not only shed the weight but says his mindset has also improved.

“I feel like a million dollars. It’s not often your wife will turn round to her husband and say you need a new wardrobe.

“I have gone down from nearly 21 stone to 15 and a half stone. I’ve got more energy, I feel more positive and my self-esteem has risen.

“I just feel good. My blood pressure is fine, my cholesterol is fine and I’ve recently seen my doctor in relation to my heart and he says I’ve added six years onto my life.

“It’s all been down to willpower. It’s really down to the individual, you can keep making excuses or you can make changes.”

This week, Tony secured the support of the Dogs Trust for his Great North Dog Walk event which will take place on Sunday, June 3 on the Leas.

This year’s event will be raising funds for the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust created as a lasting legacy to South Tyneside sweethearts Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry, who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack last May.

The Trust aims to support aspiring young performers and sportspeople to follow their dreams through the help of bursaries.

Chloe, 17, was a talented performer while Liam, 19, was a skilled cricketer.

As well as the dog walk, a range of stalls will be set up on the Leas for visitors to browse and buy items. There will also be Scrufts and pup agility as well as music from a Scottish Pipe Band.

Places for stall holders are still available. Anyone interested in setting up a stall is asked to email [email protected]

The walk will start at 10.30am on Sunday, June 3, from the Leas, opposite the Bamburgh pub. It is free to enter and people can register on the day from 9am until last entry at 3pm

To register online and for more details visit