Friday 28 July 2017

Keepy-uppy champion in record bid

Dan Magness stands outside Fulham Football club before his world-record bid
Dan Magness stands outside Fulham Football club before his world-record bid

A football freestyler has embarked on a bid to set a new world record with his fancy footwork.

Dan Magness plans to "keepy-uppy" a ball 30 miles across London, visiting every Premier League stadium in the capital.

The 26-year-old started the attempt to juggle the ball at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage ground under the supervision of Guinness officials.

He hopes to finish on the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur, setting a record for the longest keepy-uppy journey in the process.

Mr Magness honed his skills while growing up in Guildford, Surrey, and was signed by Wimbledon as a teenager. But at the age of 16, he decided to concentrate on his tricks and, a year later, he became the British keepy-uppy champion after keeping a football up for 13.5 hours.

Last May, Mr Magness, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, beat the Guinness world record for controlling a football in the air when he kept it off the ground for 24 hours. He entertains fans at half-time for a number of football clubs and is also an FA coach.

When he finishes his latest challenge, the ball will embark on a 10,000-mile overland journey from London to the site of the World Cup final - Johannesburg, South Africa.

The ball was hand-stitched in Africa by Alive & Kicking, a UK-based social enterprise that runs stitching factories in Kenya and Zambia.

Thousands of leather footballs are stitched and distributed free of charge to underprivileged African children as part of the scheme.

Alive & Kicking director Will Prochaska said: "We're really excited about Dan's world record attempt. It's a fitting way to begin the ball's journey to the World Cup in South Africa and we're very proud that a ball hand-stitched by Alive & Kicking in Kenya will be the centrepiece of this amazing footballing spectacle."

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