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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Cumbria man starts 1966km pilgrimage to World Cup in Brazil

FOR most football fans the journey to this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil will involve a long plane flight or two, but one Cumbrian man is literally walking to the tournament.

David Bewick, 31, from Windermere, is one of three football supporters that have set off on a 1966km pilgrimage to see England play in the greatest show on earth.

With 99 days until the World Cup begins, Mr Bewick and his friends Adam Burns, 27, from Newmarket, and Pete Johnston, 30, from Guisborough, have set off from Mendoza in Argentina to walk for approximately 96 days through Argentina,

Uruguay and finally in to Brazil for the start of the World Cup on June 12.

The three England fans set off from the Estadio Bautista Gargintini in Mendoza, home to Argentinian football team Club Sportivo Independiente Rivadavia, with the walk ending at another stadium, the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, one of the World Cup stadiums in Brazil.

The three men are trying to raise £20,000 for the J de V Arts Care Trust, which will allow the charity to build a water well in Bahia, north east Brazil - an area that has been badly affected by drought.

The campaign has already garnered support from the sporting community, with good luck tweets from Richard Keys, Micky Quinn and Michael Duberry.

The boys have also been given a video message from Newcastle legend, Alan Shearer, and also England international John Barnes.

The journey will take the trio through three countries, 29 towns and villages and across a varied and challenging environment in a journey measuring a staggering 1966km - a number that holds great significance to England football fans.

Mr Bewick, who works as a photographer, said: “We are three die hard England fans who are desperate to see England play

in the World Cup in Brazil, but we also see the World Cup as an opportunity to do some good and help a very worthy cause like the J de V Arts Care Trust, a charity which is very close to our hearts.”

Mr Burns added: “The drought in north east Brazil has already effected 10 million people and in Bahia, one million head of cattle, the equivalent of half the regions cattle herd have perished.

“We are hoping that Walk to the World Cup can raise the money required to build a new water well in Bahia which will leave a lasting legacy of our efforts.”

The football fans are appealing for like-minded football fans to join their World Cup pilgrimage and welcome any fan from countries around the world to join Walk to the World Cup by emailing them at walktotheworldcup@gmail.com.

Mr Johnston said: “We’d love to have one fan from each qualifying nation to join us on our walk, to share our experiences and to show that football is a global language that can unite a from any walk of life. We don’t expect everyone to do the whole walk and invite people to join us whenever and wherever they can. Walk to the World Cup is a chance to share our passion for football with likeminded footy fans from all over the world.”

To donate to Walk to the World Cup, visit: http://www.justgiving.com/WalkToTheWorldCup-JdeV.

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