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RIP British Bodybuilding Legend Bill Hemsworth

Strength Oldschool

This news was posted on 20 June 2013 by Ray Nobile…

Popular British bodybuilding competitor of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Bill Hemsworth died last May 13, aged 75.

RIP Bodybuilder Bill Hemsworth

I am saddend to report that a legend of british bodybuilding died on 16th June. He was 75. When I won the 1990 WABBA Mr Scotland Bill was one of the judges. I was competing in the masters which I won. I was also winner of the overall Mr Scotland. This win qualified me to compete in the Mr Europe to be held in Barcelona a few months later. Bill told me that in his opinion that I could win if I competed a bit more ripped. He offered, at no cost to design my diet for me. I jumped at this offer as he had a reputation for producing champions. We worked together via telephone and post. There was no Internet then.

Anyway, the rest is history, as some you who are reading my life story will know, I went on to win the Masters Mr Europe competition in 1990.  Bill was there to see me win as he was an official at the comp and we spent a good few days touring the sites of Barcelona.  He was a great champion also in his day, having won the over 35’s Mr Britain 4 times as well as a host of other titles.  I would rate him up there along with the likes of Vince Gironda, Don Dorans as being one of the most knowledgable men in body building as regards to training, dieting and posing.

May he Rest In Peace

~ Ray Nobile


From Ray Nobile…

As well as a great physique, Bill was an exceptional poser, winning the best poser awards at the contests where the award was available. I remember him telling me that when dieting for a contest that he would drink two bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale everynight  after his last meal. Bill worked long hours running his gym. He wouldn't get home till after 10 p.m.  He said this helped him to unwind after a busy day. His diet was high protein with the only carbs coming from raw vegetables. So he said the carbs from the beer didn't affect the diet in anyway, plus he slept like a log after the beer. This deep sleep allowed his body to repair after the hard workouts at the gym, he figured his body would release the correct amount of natural growth hormone essential for muscle building. Louis Martin, 4 times world olympic weightlifting champion, also told me that after every workout he would have a pint of guiness with raw eggs to help him recover. Sounds good to me. Right im off to the pub. Cheers Ray.” ~ Ray Nobile

British Bodybuilder Bill Hemsworth

Bill was a very-much-seen competitor around the British scene and competed in numerous NABBA Universe and Britain contests. He opened the Furness Health Studio in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in 1968 and ran it until his retirement in 2004. RIP. ~ Peter McGough


Really sad news of the passing of Bill Hemsworth, I met and spoke with Bill many times and found him to be an absolute gentleman and very approachable, Bill was a great entertainer and new how to get the crowd going, as Keith said Bill guest posed many times at the annual nabba mr Scotland and always got thunderous applause from the audience, Bill always went out of his way to help up and coming bodybuilders with nutritional and training advice. Such a sad loss of a great bodybuilder and person. RIP BILL. ~ Barry Donnachie


Training Info:

Very sad news. I was always a fan of his. And I loved to read interviews with him where he would discuss his unique form of training. Bill would train full body workouts 2-3 times a day, 5-6 times per week when preparing for a show. Clearly different and clearly it worked. Great bodybuilder. I wish more of us ironagers would discuss and learn about so many of these forgotten and undiscovered iron greats.

* To read about how Bill trained click here.


I found this funny:

Received an email from celebrated photographer Chris Lund who told me he once asked Bill what he did when he got home from the gym every night. Bill replied, “I drink two pints of Newcastle Brown Ale.” Chris said in 40 years in the business he’d never received such a reply. ~ Peter McGough

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