Lancashire's freestyle football king John Farnworth is set to cross the Sahara Desert while doing keepie uppies

John Farnworth training on Lytham beach ahead of the mammoth task
John Farnworth training on Lytham beach ahead of the mammoth task

Lancashire freestyle footballer John Farnworth is set to embark on his most ambitious challenege to date – crossing the Sahara Desert while doing keepie uppies with every step!

The Longridge lad is undertaking the 100 kilometre journey in searing 40-degree heat to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice, based in Chorley.

John previously did keepie uppies all the way to up Mount Everest's base camp

John previously did keepie uppies all the way to up Mount Everest's base camp

He said: “Derian is an amazing place. When I came to visit and found out how much money needs to be raised every year to keep the services running, I just knew I had to help.

"The best way for me to contribute is through freestyle, it’s what I do.”

John is hard at work training ahead of the 10 day challenege starting on March 8, with tough gym sessions every day and trips to the beach at Lytham to get ready for travelling on sand.

He said: “It’s going to be very tough, but I always like to push my own personal limits and push the barriers in freestyle – that’s just the way I live.

John is also a TV presenter as well as a freestyle footballer

John is also a TV presenter as well as a freestyle footballer

"I don’t like to do anything that has been done before."

At night John will be cooking his food in the wilderness and sleeping under Africa’s star-strewn skies in temperatures below freezing point.

If successful, it will be his 10th Guinness World Record.

He has previously kept a football in the air for the entire route of the London Marathon and in 2018 even battled blizzard conditions on treacherous Mount Everest as he did keepie uppies on the side of the world’s highest mountain.

John added: "I don’t mind that to the average person this seems bonkers.

"Freestyle has taught me so much about learning and with the right training and dedication I’m confident I can complete this challenge.

"I want to show people what is possible with the right attitude to aim up above their current capabilities."

David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “When we first found out about John’s challenge we thought, quite frankly, it was impossible.

"But after seeing what John is capable of we have every faith in him.#

"We can’t wait to follow his progress on the journey and thank him for choosing to support our work at Derian House. His efforts will make a real difference to the lives of our children and young people.”

• To donate to John’s cause visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/challengesahara