Champion of the World!
Freestyle champion of the world!
It wasn't enough for Dan Magness to be one of the world's top professional football freestylers. Now, he's smashed the freestyle world record by keeping a ball in the air for an energy sapping 24 hours!
by Ollie Chase
Dan Magness has claimed a new world record for keeping a football in the air, after sailing past the previous record of 19 hours and 30 minutes in London, his manager said.
He carried on until 1400, managing to 'keepy-uppy' for 24 hours.
Dan was always a little different from the average sporty kid who harbours a dream to become a footballer.
He said: "I used to practice a lot as a kid. I wanted to be a footballer so I used to train on my own and do lots of different technique work and just found I had a bit of a gift for doing loads of stuff with the ball that a lot of people couldn't do...
"But I always used to muck about with it too much on the pitch and the manager used to go mad so that was a bit of a problem!"
Instead of sinking into perfect isolation for daring to be different, Magness started learning his tricks and taking his freestyling skills seriously by putting them into shows.
After fulfilling his ambition to become a professional freestyler, the 25-year-old began focusing on his ultimate goal.
Before his attempt, he told BBC London: "Since making freestyling my full time profession the 24-Hour World Record has always been my dream. If I can break this record it will make me top of the field and help attract new people to get involved in freestyle football. It will mean all the hard work has been worth it," he said.
To this end, the challenge was staged in association with the PlayStation Freestylers initiative. This is an online competition set up to inspire the next generation of youngsters to get involved in freestyle football with Magness acting as one of the judges to find the best young freestylers in Britain.
PlayStation constructed a spectacular stage in Covent Garden to hold the attempt on the freestyle record.
Magness trained for six weeks which included getting up in the middle of the night to keep the ball up for 12 hours, plus 15 mile runs immediately followed by six hours of non-stop ‘kick-ups’. He said the training had taken it's toll on normal family life:
"I've been keeping my wife and step-daughter up all night because I'm always whacking the ball up and down. It drives them and the neighbours a bit mad but they understand what I'm trying to achieve and accept it as one of those things...
"The real problem is our little dog because I keep him awake so he keeps trying to bite my ankles while I'm practicing!"
Magness, from Milton Keynes, already has his eyes on his next challenge:
"I want to do something mad after this as well. Something like freestyling through the marathon next year. I don't want to stop now. I want to keep pushing things forward."
Click on the link up on the right hand side of the page to find out more about the Playstation Freestylers inititative
last updated: 01/05/2009 at 14:15
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