Radio Sandwell News

US man killed dribbling football to Brazil World Cup

2013-05-15 22:54:54

Richard Swanson

An American trying to dribble a football from Seattle to Brazil in time for the 2014 Brazil World Cup has died less than two weeks into his trip.

Richard Swanson, 42, was hit by a truck in Lincoln City, Oregon. His football was found nearby.

Swanson had set off from Seattle on 1 May aiming to raise money for the One World Futbol Project, according to his Breakaway Brazil website.

One World Futbol donates durable footballs to developing countries.

Swanson hoped to travel through 11 countries including Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia.

"It will be a trip of a lifetime where I will push myself further then I ever thought possible," he wrote on his website.

"I felt destined that I should go on this trip," he had said in a previous interview with The Longview Daily News.

A statement on Swanson's Facebook Page announced Swanson's death and said: "His team, family, friends, and loved ones will miss him and love him dearly. You made it to Brazil in our hearts, Richard."

An 'inspiring man'

In a YouTube video uploaded in March, Swanson explained that he had lost his job in graphic design, after switching from a career as a private investigator. He was having "a hard time" finding another job and it had given him time to "think about what you want out of life".

He said he'd always wanted to go to the World Cup and instead of walking there, wanted to honour the tournament by dribbling a football.

Having no mortgage, no career and two grown up sons meant that "all the pieces seemed to fit" for making the trip, he said.

"We are deeply saddened to learn about Richard's death," Lisa Tarver, chief operating officer of the One World Futbol Project said in a statement to AP.

"He was a very inspiring man who in a very short time walked his way into many lives. Our thoughts are with his family."

The driver of the truck has not been charged, the Associated Press reports.


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