A DAD who promised his son he would make a Rocky-style comeback as a powerlifting champion is on the verge of realising his dream.
Tomorrow Paul Rutherford, 37, of Yorkhill, Glasgow, will attempt to lift more than 30-stone in the World Championships in Grangemouth.
The 5ft 6in personal trainer won 11 championship titles from 1987 to 1990 but then retired.
But in July he promised his nine-year-old son Ryan he would make an improbable comeback after watching the film Rocky Balboa starring Sylvester Stallone.
In the sixth instalment of the 30-year-old series, the ageing boxer Rocky makes a comeback to the ring and proves he's lost none of his old magic.
Paul's feat will be all the more remarkable because he has been unable to train for almost a fortnight after being struck down by flu.
It means the dad-of-five has been forced to live on a simple diet ahead of the competition.
Paul said: "I'm on a very meagre diet of chicken and water and I've not been training for about 12 days because my immune system is run down.
"I've not recovered from a bout of flu and my immune system is so low, if I had kept training I would just feel worse."
Despite his condition, Paul, who took up powerlifting after being bullied at school, is determined to prove to his son anything is possible if you really want to do it.
And a mini-bus packed full of family, friends and supporters will travel through to the World Championships from Glasgow tomorrow morning.
Paul's route to the World Championships started with a qualifier at the Welsh Open Powerlifting Championships in March which he won after just four weeks training.
It allowed him to take part in the European Championships at Grangemouth in June where he scooped a silver medal.
Now he is to take on the best powerlifters in the world in a bid to prove to Ryan he can do anything if he puts his mind to it.
The powerlifter's final score in the competition will be taken from the best of three lifts in three disciplines: the squat, bench press and deadlift.
Paul added: "All I can do is do my best. The whole point is that people should not be telling you you can't do something."