England fan in marathon journey to World Cup

A man from Gloucestershire is nearing the end of a gruelling journey to South Africa. Here's his amazing story.

27-year-old Rob Forbes, who describes himself as "a hugely patriotic England fan and triathlete", entered a competition to become Britain's Biggest Football Fan last autumn.

Now he and three other competitors are racing towards their final destination - the World Cup.

The winner earns a £7,000 holiday in South Africa, so the victor will be seeing a lot more of the place over the next few months.

Of course there is the little matter of the remaining 4,000 km and the 90-kilometre Comrades Marathon in Durban before Rob can even think about what happens next.

But it seems a holiday is the last thing on his mind.

"I've got tickets for all of England's group matches and hope to follow their progress all the way to the final," says Rob.

Then perhaps Rob can write a book about his amazing experiences, including:

  • Swimming 25 kilometres across the Strait of Gibraltar, "one of the world's busiest and roughest shipping lanes"
  • Cycling across Africa and being given food and a bed by village chiefs
  • Eating caterpillars, porcupine, camel and crocodile ("You get desperately hungry cycling for up to 10 hours a day", explained Rob)
While all this sounds dangerous, Rob is up against some hardcore fans for whom an African snack would be a mere appetiser:

  • fellow Spurs fan Carrie Hobbs "refused to go to hospital for a c-section because it clashed with a football match"
  • Aston Villa supporter Jonathan Fear "went to a match against doctor's orders after being diagnosed with a rare brain condition"
  • and most dangerously of all, Manchester City fan Chris Sagar "told his fiancĂ©e he couldn't make their wedding day because it clashed with a big game at Wembley"
Any one of the four must win a public vote to be named the number one fan. I say they all deserve a holiday.

To follow the challenge and vote for your favourite, visit http://www.tri4africa.co.uk/.

(Source: This is Gloucestershire website)

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