A SOUTH Tyneside football lover is going around the world in 90 days – in order to hitch a ride to the biggest sporting event of the summer.
Globe-trotting Andrew Grady is setting off early to make sure he arrives in Brazil in time for the World Cup party in June.
The adventure seeker will be guided only by his “magic thumb” as he records the epic journey spanning 18 countries, four continents and covering 37,000 kilometres.
The 36-year-old is hitch-hiking the way to Rio for the final leg of a trilogy of spectacular sporting treks, over the last four years.
Mr Grady, who hails from Harton, South Shields, but now lives in London, first hitch-hiked from London to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, before travelling from Australia to the capital to be part of the 2012 London Olympics.
Both trips were also recorded and Mr Grady has his own website detailing his adventures, called www.themagicthumb.com
The former St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School pupil has set up a kick-starter fund to raise £45,000 for a film detailing his trip.
It is a journey that wil take him over land and sea – as he sets off from South Shields, before hoping to jump onboard a fishing boat or ferry to take him across the North Sea to Europe.
He will aim to reach Moscow before taking in Alaska, Canada and Mexico on the long way to South America.
After all that travelling he even hopes to take in some football.
Mr Grady said: “I am aiming to set off between March 10 and 15.
“It’s the final part in a trilogy of adventures and I want it to start in my home town.
“I hitch-hike the whole way and will need to get on a fishing boat or a ferry to get across the North Sea. I can’t see any other way. I am hoping to get to Moscow. I want to do it in 90 days.
“I have travelled and lived all over the world. I am a musician and a film-maker, a bit of a jack of all trades.
“I want to show by travelling across the world that people don’t need to be boxed off in their own little countries. I want to dispel some myths.
“I haven’t a clue how it’s all going to happen at the moment.
“England’s first game is in Manaus against Italy and I aiming to be there for that. I am expecting there to be a carnival atmosphere at the World Cup.”
Mr Grady is appealing for support for his film project.
Anyone who would like to donate can log onto www.kickstarter.com/projects/1086761446/the-magic-thumb-south-shields-to-brazil-2014