Transformation: Dowd's traditional look (left) and in August 2013
Premier League referee Phil Dowd lost two stones in two months, according to former colleague Mark Halsey.
The Staffordshire official, a fixture in the top flight since 1997, has never cut the most svelte figure.
However he has undergone a dramatic transformation over the summer in order to extend his career.
While the difference is clear enough to the naked eye, Halsey revealed that Dowd had
shed an amazing two stones.
BEFORE: DOWD IN ACTION LAST SEASON
Dowd turned 50 in January, but is allowed to continue in the Premier League after the mandatory retirement age of 48 was struck down by European law.
Halsey, working as a co-commentator, said that Dowd had always been close to the bottom of the pile in referees’ fitness tests and joked that if a fan threw a pie at him, he would eat it.
Dowd, he said, had often had to re-take tests to prove his ability to take charge of games at the highest level.
Despite question marks over his mobility, Dowd is one of the more popular (or perhaps less unpopular) Premier League officials due to his willingness to talk to players instead of brandishing cards.
The only question is: why did he wait until he was 50 before getting into shape?
AFTER: DOWD THIS SEASON