Tributes to York gym owner and former Mr Britain who has died from Covid

1 Feb 2021 @ 7.19 am
| News

A bodybuilder and businessman, who once ran Arnold Schwarzenegger close for the Mr Universe title, has died of Covid.

Tributes have been paid to Brian House, who was 82.

Brian began his bodybuilding career in the army – he served in both the Royal Artillery and the Yorkshire Regiment.

He won many titles, including Mr Britain and Mr Yorkshire. Brian also competed against some big names, including Lou Ferrigno, who went on to play The Incredible Hulk on TV and David Prowse – who played Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies.

He took on Arnie several times, and was placed fourth in the year the future film star won Mr Universe.

But he recalled: “”In the first Mr Universe, Arnold won the best back, he won the best chest, he won the best arms, but I won the best legs.”

Say goodbye

Brian went on to establish popular gyms in York – the first in Fishergate.

His funeral procession will pass by that location, his son Paul said on Facebook: “This was were my Dad and his family started our gym/fitness journey in York.

“We all have fantastic memories of that place and know a lot of you will too. So it seems fitting even though the gym is long gone that we should pass there on my Dad’s last journey.”

He encouraged anyone who knew his dad to gather there and wave him goodbye. The cortege will pass that spot at about 12.45pm-1pm on Wednesday, 10 February, on its way to York Crematorium.

Paul said he was heartbroken by his father’s death, saying it was “such a shock how fast this horrible disease took him”.

The family went on to found Atlanta Health And Fitness in Clifton Moor.

Brian was still training in his gym in his 80s. He leaves a widow, Grace, and children Paul and Julie.

Richard Fowler paid tribute on Facebook: “Loved Fishergate, it was a Mecca for so many. Great memories and the friends we made, your dad and you were an inspiration to us all.”

Paul added: “When all this madness is over we will organise a do so everybody can celebrate my Dad’s life.”

You can donate to Help For Heroes in memory of Brian here.