A VIDEO producer from Ulverston is coming back down to earth after spending three weeks at the World Cup in Brazil.
Self-employed John McKeown, 47, filmed seven games providing footage on behalf of FIFA to television channels worldwide.
It meant behind-the-scenes access to stadiums including the famous 78,000-capacity Maracana in Rio, in what is his third world cup.
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Brazilian life was a world away from his Cumbrian day job where he runs his own video marketing company, Lakes Creative Limited, creating videos for tourism and corporate clients and helping with video marketing.
The father-of-two flew between major cities including Recife, Natal and Rio, including visits to Copacabana Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Christ the Reedeemer statue.
He was based in Recife which has a population of 3.7 million people and the unenviable reputation of being one of the world’s most violent cities.
“I never felt intimidated while we were there because we always made sure we went round in numbers of three or four,” said John.
“Even though a German crew of crane operators that were part of our team, staying at another hotel near to us, were held at knife and gunpoint but refused to hand over any money.
“They got a ticking off from the police.”
He added: “But generally I felt a real warmth from the Brazilians, even the street traders trying to flog you stuff accepted a simple ‘no’.”
The loyal Newcastle United supporter, also saw stars like pundits Robbie Savage, Martin Keown, met a famous Mexican wrestler and saw legendary Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos.
And as a final farewell to Brazil on their last night, the television crews got together to play drinking games and were joined by former Blackburn and Wigan striker, Jason Roberts.
And having filmed the infamous match where Liverpool striker Luis Suarez bit his Italian opponent, John said: “He obviously has a problem which is a shame because he is an incredible footballer.”
Of his return home last week, John said: “Looking outside now with the rain battering down, I’ll miss the climate most because in Recife it’s a pleasant 28C all year round!”
- Ivory Coast v Japan
- Ghana v USA
- Japan v Greece
- Belgium v Russia
- Italy v Uruguay
- USA v Germany
- Costa Rica v Greece
JOHN'S FAVOURITE PLAYERS AT WORLD CUP 2014
- Thomas Muller - German striker
- Tim Howard - USA goalkeeper