Former Keighley prop Ian's got the power!

Keighley News: Ian Spencer, pictured in training at NRGym, has set a new British powerlifting record in his category Ian Spencer, pictured in training at NRGym, has set a new British powerlifting record in his category

Prop-turned-powerlifter Ian Spencer has made a record-breaking start to his new career.

The former rugby league player from Keighley set a new British best for squats in his category at the North West Powerlifting Championships in Colne.

Competing in the under-120kg Masters 2 category, Spencer lifted 232.5kg to beat the previous record of 230kg.

The 51-year-old also produced scores of 130kg (bench) and 220kg (dead lift) on his way to qualifying for the national championships in Horncastle in March.

Spencer has only been competing for six weeks but he admitted that bulking up in the gym during three decades of playing amateur rugby league has given him the ideal platform.

The former Keighley Albion forward, who also played for Keighley ARLFC, said: “I’ve always weight-trained for rugby for 30 years but I’ve never actually competed in it.

“I hopefully have the potential to do pretty well and might look at Euro-pean competitions and even world ones in the next few years.”

“I achieved the British record the day after turning 51 so that was a nice birthday present.”

Spencer, who trains at NRGym in Keighley, played rugby league up until December 2012, so lasted until he was 50 before quitting the game due to a neck injury.

In his younger days, he played two seasons for the second team at Keighley Cougars in the days of Phil Larder, where his father, Neil, used to be chairman.

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