A FORMER Rhyl footballer completed the London Marathon while continuously juggling a football.

Nathan Davies, originally from Connah's Quay, completed the 26 miles while doing keep-ups. 

It took the 49-year-old, who is a part-time football freestyler, eight hours to complete the marathon - with this 14-year-old son, Diego, acting as his guide.

Rhyl Journal: Nathan with his son, Diego. Nathan with his son, Diego. (Image: Nathan Davies)

Nathan, who now lives in New Jersey in the US, said: "My boy acted as my guide, telling me when I was approaching obstacles and things like that as my eyes were looking down on the ball the whole time.

"I started training for it in September last year, but the furthest I did in one go was 18 miles. This was to protect my feet. That was the toughest thing, I didn't feel physically tired - but my feet were in bits. I didn't wear the right trainers and ended up with loads of blisters and badly bruised toe nails.

"When we got there it was windy, and I was worried about the impact this would have on being able to keep the ball up. We made it 21 miles without the ball touching the floor, before a gust of wind took it away from me - which happened again at mile 23."

Nathan attended Connah's Quay High School and played for Connah's Quay Nomads and Rhyl before moving to the United States in 2001.

He is now a multi-World Record holder in freestyling challenges, and juggled a football 208 miles across Lesotho in southern Africa to raise money for the Kick for Life charity. 

Nathan has the record for the most consecutive touches with shoulders (5,897), most football rolls across forehead (2,048), most consecutive heel touches (283) and knee touches (6,539).

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He added: "The crowd were absolutely brilliant, they were roaring me on. A couple of drunk women tried to steal the ball at one point but thankfully Diego managed to keep them away.

"My goal with this challenge was to push myself to see what was possible and to inspire people around me and raise money for a great cause."

Nathan has raised just shy of £2,000 for the WellChild charity - which provides practical and emotional support to seriously ill children, young people and their families, enabling them to leave hospital quicker and live life in their own homes. His fundraising page can be donated to at https://bit.ly/3JCNUJq

He can also be followed on Instagram @soccershowman. 

Nathan, who runs a football school in New Jersey, added: "I'm looking at doing loads more events like this. 

"I'd like to thank everyone who supported during the marathon, and who has made a donation."