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Kenton freestyler's 20km keepy-uppy achievement confirmed as world record
A football freestyler is the proud owner of a world record after his 20km keepy-uppy marathon was confirmed as valid.
Matt Wolstenholme, 30, of Kingsbury Road, spent just under five hours keeping a football in the air around 50 laps of the athletics track at Harrow School on August 30, but had a nervous wait to see if the attempt would be confirmed as a record by sponsor Guinness.
But the personal trainer, who estimates he kicked the ball 36,000 times, can now claim to hold be the best in the world for the longest distance juggling a football after officials studied his video evidence.
He said: “I’m chuffed to bits with the record. It’s amazing to be able to call myself a world record holder.
“It was a tough challenge, I was out there for five hours in the wind and rain and I didn’t eat or drink anything. And obviously I couldn’t just pop to the loo.
“Most of the time I simply kicked the ball from foot to foot, but there were a couple of hairy moments around the bends and every once in a while I had to use my knees to control the ball.
“Everything was aching by the end, but it was worth it.”
The feat marks a long journey for Matt from a back injury he suffered in 2005, which left him barely able to walk.
The mystery problem was never fully diagnosed, but the Arsenal fan was able to regain full mobility after an injection in his spine and a strict exercise regime, which inspired him to become a personal trainer.
He added: “When my back was bad a trip to the kitchen for a cup of tea was a big journey, so I would never have envisaged doing something like this.”
Matt has completed similar feats over the last few years to raise money for Stanmore-based spinal cord injury charity Aspire, where he also worked as a sports coach following his injury.