A pair of Perthshire-born pensioners have claimed back their heavyweight title from a set of Edinburgh challengers.
Earlier this week, Alanna Merrie’s twin boys Kaius and Troy were reported to be Scotland’s heaviest new-borns, weighing a total of 16lb 13oz at birth.
But local man Bernard McLuskey said he and his twin brother William were nearly 1lb heavier tipping the scales at a collective 17lb 8oz when they came into the world on June 17 1944.
In their childhood the pair became known as the “Battling McLuskeys” and were well known on the Tayside boxing circuit.
While the Edinburgh babies were born by caesarean section on November 4, the Perthshire twins were born naturally.
Years before the advent of the NHS, their mother Catherine delivered them in a farm cottage at Dalcrue with just the help of her mother-in-law.
The youngest of six children born to Catherine and her husband Ben, William weighed 8lb 8oz, while Bernard arrived at a hefty 9lb.
Bernard, who now lives near Pitcairngreen, said his mother swelled to an enormous size during her pregnancy.
The 71-year-old said: “According to my sisters she was hiding from everybody for months because she was wider than what she was high. She wasn’t very tall.
“We were told when we were young that we could have been the heaviest kids in Scotland at birth but we never bothered to check if it was a record.
“I saw the article in The Courier yesterday and then looked up our weight and we were heavier.’My mum was a wee solid woman’“I’m not saying we are the heaviest there could be some people heavier than us. I don’t know.”
He said that sturdiness is a family trait.
“All our family were all big people, strong people. We are not fat but strong-built. My dad was big and my mum was a wee solid woman. My siblings were all the normal 8lb or 9lb.”
During their childhood Bernard and William, who now lives in London, and their brothers Jim and George were well known across Tayside and Fife for their sporting prowess.
Bernard said: “We were called Bill and Ben at Methven school. We went there when we were five and cycled there every day for ten years.
“We were all boxers and all sports champions, every one of us, at Methven.
“We were boxing at five and a half years old and there was a big thing in The Courier in 1949 about me and my twin brother fighting each other.”
According to Guinness World Records, the heaviest twins recorded were Billy Leon and Benny Loyd McCrary, alias McGuire, from the USA.
They were normal in size until the age of six but in November 1978, Billy and Benny weighed 337kg (743lb or 53st 1lb) and 328kg (723lb or 51st 9lb) respectively.
Professional tag wrestlers, they each had waists measuring 2.13m (84 in).
Billy died at Niagara Falls after a fall from a mini bike, on January 13 1979 aged 32. Benny died of heart failure in 2001.More twin facts:Tallest, male 7ft 3in Identical twins Michael and James Lanier of Troy, Michigan.
Tallest, female 6ft 7in Identical twins Ann and Claire Recht of Oregon, USA.
Oldest 102 years – Pierre and Paul Langerock, Belgium.
Most sets – 16 – The first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. Her name is not recorded.
Consecutive generations – 4 – Rollings family (UK); Taylor family (USA); Sims family (UK)
Longest separated – 77 years, 289 days – Elizabeth Ann Hamel (ne Lamb, USA) and Ann Patricia Hunt (ne Wilson, UK) were born on February 28 1936 in Aldershot and separated for adoption. They were reunited in Fullerton, California, USA on May 1 2014.
Longest interval between births 87 days Amy Elliot was born prematurely on June 1 2012 to Maria Jones-Elliot of Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. Her sister Kate followed on August 27.
Oldest person to give birth to twins 66 years and 358 days Maria del Carmen Bousada Larain Barcelona on December 29 2006.