Fundraising Andy Smith tops off cycle tour of Brazil, having collected thousands of pounds (From Watford Observer)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or contact us here
Fundraising Andy Smith tops off cycle tour of Brazil, having collected thousands of pounds
More than 40 degree heat, torrential downpours, long steep uphill climbs, poor quality roads, crazy traffic - Watford FC fan Andy Smith has overcome a lot to complete a five-month charity cycle round every World Cup stadium in Brazil.
The 35-year-old completed his 5,500-mile tour last week - and is now enjoying being at the heart of World Cup fever.
Andy, from Oxhey, has raised nearly £4,500 from the ride - just £500 off his original fundraising target - for Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Watford FC Community Sport and Education Trust.
The former management accountant said: "There were so many highlights during my travels that it's difficult to pick a best moment. The kindness and hospitality of the Brazilian people I met was amazing throughout, the diverse but always beautiful landscapes were amazing to cycle through, and the World Cup stadium visits were a real privilege."
Andy has became a bit of a celebrity in Brazil, featured on national television three times during his ride.
He said: "I'm really grateful that the locals have taken my journey into their hearts, and the media here have given great coverage to my stadium visits.
"The best thing about that has been in the days following such coverage I was recognised loads when cycling along the highway, so people honked and waved from their cars, and even stopped to take photos with me, which was a real boost during my long solo journey.
"And I've continued to do lots of media interviews since reaching Manaus."
He has visited all 12 stadiums used in the 2014 football World Cup, including the Arena de Sao Paulo and the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia - starting at Porto Alegre and cycling more than 5,500 miles to the Arena Amazonia, in Manaus, for the England-Italy clash.
"The bike went home via a local exporter on the morning of the Italy game and so that was the moment when I switched from being a cycle tourer to an England supporter," Andy continued.
"After such a long journey to get here it's massively exciting to finally be at the World Cup in Brazil."
Andy will stay in Brazil - his adopted second team - for the final, planning to watch the match at the FanFest on Copacabana beach.
Donations can be made by clicking here.
Comments are closed on this article.