Saturday, October 28, 2006

Reach for your medals

Young footballers in Cardiff had to reach a long way to receive their medals when they were presented by one of the world's tallest men. Hussain Bisad who stands at about 7ft 9in made a special appearance at the Somali Integration Society event.

Mr Bisad, who is reported to weigh 33 stone (462lbs) and wears size 26 shoes, is from Somalia but lives in London. He stands taller than a phone box and has to sleep in a 9ft bed.

The Somali Integration Society organised the five-a-side football event for 11-19-year-olds.

Spokesman Ibrahim Harbi said the society had put on the tournament as part of its Eid celebrations. He said: "He's been to Cardiff before, he likes it here and he is really supportive of the work we are doing. When he heard about the event he was happy to come along to support. He really is a huge man - you should see his hands!Wherever he goes he attracts attention."

In 2002, the Guinness World Records recorded him as having the biggest hand span of any living man.

The tallest living man record is currently held by China's Xi Shun who is 7ft 8.95in tall.

Mr Bisad, who has a medical condition known as Giantism which causes excessive growth, came to the UK as an asylum seeker after robbers shot him in the knee in Somalia. He travelled by lorry to Ethiopia before getting on a plane to the UK, where airline staff had to allocate him two seats.

The Home Office has now given him permission to stay in Britain indefinitely because he is deemed a legitimate asylum seeker.

The world's tallest ever man was American Robert Wadlow, who died in 1940, at 8ft 11ins.

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