By Luke Kenton
This football freestyler became the first man ever to keepie uppie his way beyond Everest’s base camp, in charitable tribute to his late grandfather.
Renown trickster John Farnworth is no stranger to breaking barmy world records, but his most incredible of all certainly came on March 11th, when he managed to trek 6000ft up Mount Everest while simultaneously performing kick-ups.
Spending ten days tentatively traversing his way up the Earth’s biggest mountainside, John would walk for up to ten hours per-day, attempting to keep a football in the air at all times.
Battling a receding oxygen supply and combating against ever-changing terrains, John’s six-months of intensive training paid dividends as he managed to exceed his original goal by 500 meters, reaching and passing Everest’s base camp.
Emotional at the finish, John stands in disbelief as he takes in the stunning surroundings provided by the Himalayas, remembering his ‘football-loving’ grandfather, who he sadly lost to Alzheimer’s last year.
Committing to completing the daunting climb in honor of is grandfather’s legacy, John undertook the climb to raise money Alzheimer’s Society.
John, who was recently presented with the ‘Pride of Preston’ award, said: “Nobody has done this before. I wanted to break the ground in the sport and challenge myself in other areas of endurance.
“I decided to do it after losing my granddad to Alzheimer’s last year – we did this to raise money in his memory.
“It’s been six months of preparation. I’ve been training in an altitude center as well as practicing on many hills and mountains to help me get ready.
“The hardest part was the uneven terrain and altitude.
“The last two days took a lot longer because of the energy I was using – I had to slow down because of the increasing lack of oxygen.
“We had no set height to reach, it was just a case of seeing how high we could go in the time, whilst keeping the ball in the air.
“I’d travel for 10 hours per day, having one main break for lunch and a couple of shorter ones in the afternoon.
“On our tenth day we reached 6,000 metres which is 500 higher than the base camp.
“I had a lot of tiredness as I struggled to sleep at 4,000 metres, but aside from that I was okay – I didn’t suffer any sickness, which was a relief.
“It was so surreal, a truly incredible feeling – it was very emotional and took a long while to sink in.
“I’ve certainly got my eye on another adventure. I’m hoping to do 250 kilometers across the Sahara Desert, which will be quite the opposite to Everest weather-wise.”
Too see more of John’s adventures, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/johnfarnworthTV