Four footy fans walks 1966km to watch England play at the World Cup
England soccer fans, Adam Burns, Dave Bewick, Pete Johnston and Ben Olsen walked 1966 kilometers from Argentina to their home side play at World Cup in Brazil have completed their heroic journey, ARY News has learnt.
Adam Burns, 27, David Bewick, 31, Pete Johnston, 29, and Ben Olsen, 31, started their three-month trek in March with the figure of their target distance 1966 KM, a symbolic distance, because 1966 is the year last time England won soccer World Cup.
They set off from Mendoza in Argentina on a route taking in 29 towns and villages, in an effort to raise £20,000 to dig water well for the Brazilian state of Bahia. The farming communities there have been ravaged by severe drought.
The quartet planned to arrive in time for the start of the competition on Thursday but were early when they reached the finish fine at the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on Sunday.
Adam, who lives in Newmarket, said: “I think we all have mixed emotions. It is a sense of relief that we have finished but we are going to miss being on the road.
“Each one of us has taken time out of our careers to do this and it has definitely been worth it. It has made me want to move to South America. I have been blown away by how welcoming everybody has been – we have so many memories to take from this.”
He added that the prospect of watching England take on Italy in Manaus on Saturday helped the walkers get through tough days.
He explained: “We’ve had an unbelievable time and can’t wait for the Italy game on Saturday.
“I have been to five or six competitive games but this will be my first big tournament game.
“We’ve been walking eight or nine hours a day and we’ve all been saying ‘when we finish we get to watch England in the Amazon’.”
The group camped along the way, and have been backed in their challenge by former footballers Alan Shearer, John Barnes and Micky Quinn.
They will meet Prince Harry before England’s game against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte later this month.