VETERAN shot putter John Nicholls is now the champion of Lancashire.

The Stockton Heath athlete had been a dominant force in the Cheshire Championships for four decades.

“I triggered my ‘born in Lancashire’ right to compete in the Lancashire Athletics Championships,” said the 53-year-old.

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“After 41 years of Cheshire I chased a new challenge.

“I needed a competition to excite me and they have a putter called Dan Upton who was only 13cm behind me in this year’s rankings.”

Upton is now 32cm behind after Nicholls won the event with a putt of 13.42cm.

He now has a dilemma for 2020, the Lancashire or Cheshire editions?

“I’m not sure which I will do next year, depends where the best competition will be,” he said.

“It’s always good to shake things up and keep myself on my toes.”

“At 53 I am quite happy, but would have been nice to go over 13.50.I always want more.”