England’s biggest fan swims, cycles and runs 19,000km to the World Cup in South Africa


A man is aiming to become England’s biggest football fan by swimming, cycling and running 19,000km to watch them play in the World Cup in South Africa.

Dedicated Rob Forbes, 27, started his epic journey in October last year and hopes to arrive in Rustenburg for England’s opening match against the USA on June 12.

The freelance ecologist has already cycled 15,000km through Europe and West Africa before swimming 25km across the Strait of Gibraltar.

Another 4,000km of cycling will take him to Durban, South Africa, before he is running the last 90km in the gruelling ultradistance Comrades Marathon.

Rob, from Cirencester, Glos., said: ”As a hugely patriotic England fan and triathlete I was left with no choice but to swim, cycle and run my way to the 2010 World Cup.

”I have plenty of hurdles to overcome before I can revel in the glory of a successful England campaign, but I’ve no doubt I will be there to cheer our boys on.

”I’ve got tickets for all of England’s group matches and hope to follow their progress all the way to the final.”

Rob planned his epic journey after reaching the finals of a ‘Britain’s Biggest Football Fan’ competition, which is sponsored by Continental Tyres.

If he receives more votes than the other three contestants then he will take home the £7,000 top prize and be crowned England’s number one fan.

Rob revealed that he has been forced to eat insects and porcupine and crocodile meat during his journey through Africa.

He said: ”I’ve described all the challenges I’ve faced to show my dedication to the game, including rainforests, mountains and finding enough to eat and drink.

”Swimming across the strait for six hours was a huge physical and mental test. But I saw whales and dolphins.

”Cycling across Africa I was approaching village chiefs to sleep somewhere secure and it was a voyage of discovery.

”You get desperately hungry cycling for up to 10 hours a day, and I ate caterpillars, porcupine, camel and crocodile from street sellers.”

*To follow Rob’s progress in his challenge or vote for him in the competition, visit www.tri4africa.co.uk.


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