Andrew Murphy is one of the most talented young powerlifters to come out of Pembrokeshire for many years, as proven by the number of titles he holds and especially the records he has broken since he first set out four years ago . . .

Andrew Murphy has only been involved in Powerlifting for the past four years and in that time has developed into a very able participant in a sport which demands total commitment and a willingness to overcome obstacles - but with the chance to receive a welcome pay-back in terms of increasing personal bests.

That Andrew should get involved comes as no surprise because he is the son of the county's most successful lifter, Paul Murphy, whose tally of 47 world records and 60+ UK records is fitting testament to how well he has done over many years.

But Paul would say that Andrew is very much his own man in terms of their sport and is already predicting great things for Murphy Junior if he can maintain his current rate of progress, which has seen him raise his personal best total over the three lifts of Bench Press, Dead Lift and Squat by phenomenal margins.

Indeed, when he set out his best lifts were 130kgs in the squat, 95kgs in the bench press and 180 in the dead lift for a combined total of 405kgs, which wasn't bad going for someone who weighed 75kgs.

But now his PBS are 315kgs in the squat, 202.5kgs in the bench press and 265kgs in the deadlift for an improvement to 782.5kgs some 377kgs more but with the same body weight as when he started!

 His lift of 315kgs in the squat not only helped him win his class by 40kgs but was a new junior record as well as being an open record for all involved in his weight category!

To put things into an even more revealing context his talents and power, his combined total of 782.5kgs is the equivalent of 117 stone, or more than 29 half-hundredweight bags of spuds!

Dad Paul has been his mentor since Andrew began at the age of 19 and his mum Janet has always been a great support as well as a great taxi driver when he was younger, whilst younger sister Georgia (21) also follows his progress with interest.

He started out without any family pressure after previously enjoying regular visits to the gym at Tenby and Pembroke Leisure Centres, but purely for fitness sake.

By then he was working for Justin Head, the well-known Olympic weightlifting coach and went along to his gym to learn about lift in the 'Clean & Jerk' and 'Snatch' disciplines before entering a novice’s competition at the SA1 Gym in Swansea.

"I was quite pleased with my best lifts of 65kgs and 75kgs but I came nearly last and realised there was a fair bit to be done," he said with a smile!

"It was then that I started working in the gym with dad twice a week and still three times with Justin before opting for Powerlifting, which was perhaps less technical."

His first competition was with the Welsh Strength Association at Pontardawe, which was designated for beginners and lots of competitors turned up with ordinary tee shirts and shorts.

"I was more nervous than I thought I would be but at least I had the proper kit and was pleased to end up in first place on my debut - and I've been hooked ever since!"

Since then he has gone from strength to strength as Paul has worked at Andrew's techniques and mental approach, ably assisted by Aaron Hosking, the other legend at the club who all the young lifters like Andrew really look up to.

This was very much in evidence at the recent UK Qualifier in Pembroke Dock where he did so well that he qualified for the UK championships in the NEC as a result - but he had already prequalified because he won last year's event in Bristol.

Not content with that little lot, Andrew also travelled to Helsinki for the European Championships and competed in the category for his age and weight.

"I didn't win but it was a wonderful experience and I certainly learned a lot from it!"

"I went as part of the British squad in the team-of-three event which took on the likes of Russia, France, Iceland, Portugal, Spain and the Scandinavian countries and won the best trio from a single country, which was brilliant!"

To reach that sort of standard has meant hard work and total dedication up to five times a week for two hours at our headquarters in the Pembroke Amateur Boxing Gymnasium, where we all get on great together - and on Saturdays we continue to build up our team spirit by all having breakfast together in the nearby 'Cosy Diner' and then training really hard for up to four hours.

On those training nights Andrew warms up by lifting relatively high low weights and builds up the momentum by adding 20kgs a time onto the bar.

"I usually work hard at my technique in the squat discipline on Monday evenings, followed by bench presses the next night and then dead lifts on Wednesday.

On other nights I do specific work to develop my shoulders, arms and legs before the weekend, where we sometimes have friends from 'up the line' where we all push each other to the full before taking a deserved break on Sunday!

Ask about future targets and Andrew says that one of his aims would be to try his ability at the invitational event at Olympia, which is easily one of the biggest competitions on the planet.

This year also sees the European Championships in Lyons, France, and the World Championships in Miami, in the USA a short while later.

"I would love to attend all three competitions but I have to consider the huge cost and some form of sponsorship would be amazing - and if anyone is out there willing to help support me I promise to give 100% effort in return."

There is no doubt that anyone who is able to help should pop along and see him  train and compete because he is a very modest young feller who is not quick to boast about his successes so far but lets his performances do the talking.

And they talk pretty loudly for him because he is a great credit to himself, his family, the Pembrokeshire Powerlifting Club and Pembrokeshire Sport - and we wish Andrew Murphy all the best in what looks to be a very bright future!