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In My Personal Space Episode Four: Akinfenwa Steps Out of His Comfort Zone

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In My Personal Space Episode Four: Akinfenwa Steps Out of His Comfort Zone

Adebayo Akinfenwa isn't often the smaller man. The man they call the Beast is known for his size, but compared to comedian Tom Ward, he's smaller. Slightly smaller. About an inch smaller. In height only.

Of course, when they're up close and personal, it is the distance between them that matters. Bayo and Tom met as part of the Wrigley's In My Personal Space challenge, where the comedian puts his best questions to the big man at the closest of quarters.

OK, so Tom isn't actually bigger than Akinfenwa. Of course, nobody is - he's the biggest footballer in the world. Move over Messi, roll over Ronaldo, big man Beast Mode Bayo is here, all 16 stones of him. The Wycombe striker has made himself the most famous man in League Two, a legend of the lower leagues, more courtesy of his prowess in the gym than his tekkers on the field. He was even rewarded by FIFA, who made him the strongest player on the game in 2015, an award that he has defended to the hilt ever since.


He's also a social media superstar - if you aren't following his Insta, then really, are you on Insta? - who populates his feed with hilarious interactions with fans, footage of himself lifting ludicrous weights in the gym and bantering away with a cast of characters, including everyone from his Wycombe teammates to his teenage kids.

In every way, Akinfenwa is a man who, even bearing in mind his outsized frame, is larger than life. A perfect candidate, then, to take on the Wrigley's In My Personal Space challenge. He met with Tom Ward for a chat at close quarters, with predictably hilarious results. The questions were as up close and personal as the meeting itself, with Tom using the powers of intimidation garnered from his extra inch in height to put Bayo in his place. Well, sort of.

The pair discussed his life as a footballer, the big man's fame on FIFA and, of course, shared a piece of Wrigley's. Tom and Bayo got on surprisingly well. For a big man used to dealing with defenders, Akinfenwa struggled with getting so close to Tom - usually, he just leaves them on their backsides and batters the ball into the net - and seemed unsuited to dealing with a comedian who attacks with words rather than tackles.

Michael Ivens
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