To date, this site has been followed in 52 countries. For all you statistics fans out there, here is a rundown of the ten cities (including two towns) in the world where this site has been most followed:
(Up to and including July 21)
1. Riga, Latvia
2. London, England
3. Leicester, England
4. Oslo, Norway
5. Birmingham, England
6. Kaunas, Lithuania
7. Nuneaton, England
8. Tallinn, Estonia
9. Johannesburg, South Africa
10. Linwood, USA
Understandably, Bjorn is feeling exhausted by his exertions of the past 13 months. I also feel pretty done in - both mentally and physically - by my much smaller contribution to 'The Shirt 2010' project.
It is hard to say, therefore, at this point in time, where exactly the project will go from here in the coming months. I very much hope there will still be an exhibition, book and 'The Shirt 2014', but it is impossible to say just now.
My advice would be to check this blog (let's say) once per month for any updates, and to continue logging on to www.theshirt2010.net every now and then to hear Bjorn's news and updates. I guess new previously unpublished photos will be added to both www.theshirt2010.net and www.justinworldcup.weebly.com on a regular basis in the coming weeks.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who has followed this project and supported us in any shape or form. The messages of support and encouragement were always greatly appreciated whilst on the road in Africa. I am sorry that it was often impossible to reply to you personally at that time.
I hope this project has encouraged us all to think more about the world's refugees. I hope each and every one of us will continue to think of the refugees in the future and, on occasion, offer our personal support to them wherever in the world they may be.
Thank you to you all!!
All the best,
Monday, July 5
Port St.Johns is the kind of place where you stroll down the road for five minutes, climb down a grassy embankment and find yourself with a fantastic deserted beach, hundreds of seabirds bombing into the waves and a huge shoal of sardines trapped by the seashore. And if you stick around long enough you might find yourself lucky enough to spot a lone whale surface, probably getting some well-earned oxygen to help digest several hundred sardines.
Port St.Johns is also the kind of place where people of all colours and creeds laze on sofas smoking marijuana, strumming the guitar, discussing life theories and enjoying a rum and coke sundowner.
Monday, June 7
Yesterday's stadium accident in which dozens of South Africans and Nigerians were injured is easily explained.
The match between North Korea and Nigeria was played at a small, non-World Cup stadium with next to no security on hand. Having already attended a match in Zambia where free match tickets were handed out to the local community I have experienced first hand how the nice gesture of free admitance creates excitement, huge queues and a potential stampede.
The moment that many of those queueing outside think that the stadium is close to capacity they begin surging forward in the hope of getting inside before the gates are closed and they remain locked outside the match.
Yesterday's accident is understandable and easily explained. This same scenario will not be played out during the World Cup. Those attending matches will need to pass through three separate security cordens.
It is also worth noting that the stadiums in South Africa are as good as if not better than those we are used to in Europe's top leagues.
Monday, May 31
We meet the UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Africa in Pretoria. Mister Kimbimbi is very surprised and disappointed to hear that the Dutch national team do not want to support 'the shirt 2010'. They have given us the standard 'nice project but we get zillions of similar requests all the time...so sorry but we cannot help'.
Yeah, I bet they get dozens of people contacting them every day who have cycled from Norway to South Africa for 11 months...
First the Dutch stole Bjorn's bicycle in Amsterdam and now their national team don't want to help the project! Come on you crazy Dutch!
Reminds me of how former England football manager Graham Taylor felt when the Dutch eliminated England from the World Cup in 1993, under very dubious circumstances:
"Do I not like Orange," he famously complained
Just got the latest google analytics figures for this site. To date, 'More than a game' has been viewed by people in 41 countries.
Here is the current top 10:
1. United Kingdom 2. Norway 3. Latvia 4. China 5. Switzerland 6. Kenya 7. Lithuania 8. Zambia 9. United States 10. Ireland
Still no viewers in Portugal, New Zealand and Uzbekistan...
Monday, May 24
I am fortunate enough to attend South Africa's pre-World Cup friendly with Bulgaria at the Orlando Stadium.
The stadium is in the infamous Soweto suburb of Johannesburg, within sight of many of the country's most notorious townships. After total refurbishment in 2008, this new state-of-the-art arena now seats 40,000 fans.
It is chaos on the roads leading to Soweto. Despite leaving another Johannesburg suburb at 7, we are only able to double-park on one of the roads adjacent as the match kicks off at 8.30.
Many of the streets leadng to the stadium are unlit and the noise is deafening. Once inside the arena the volume level goes up several more desibels. It is so raucous, in fact, that I cannot hear my friend Norris, stood next to me. It is very cold; maybe only 6 degrees Celsius. It is more like a chilly November evening than the summer paradise many foreign football fans are expecting.
The Orlando stadium actually shakes as tens of thousands of fans jump up and down in unison and dance rythmically from side to side. Truthfully, I have never heard noise anything like this from 40,000 fans. It is deafening.
When Bafana Bafana take a deserved 1-0 lead it is time to apply index fingers inside the ears.
Bulgaria have good support in the stadium. I can only assume the couple thousand present reside here in the Rainbow Nation. Cyrillic flags include: Slavia and Lokomotiv.
When the Bulgarians equalise it also feels more like a full international rather than a friendly.
At half time I realise, if I didn't realise before, strolling around, that the majority present here are straight out of the Soweto townships. There are a lot of, shall we say, quite 'rough and ready' lads present. In the toilets the local males think little of sharing urinals, rather than waiting their turns. Three blokes sharing one urinal is a first for me.
The stadium is located inside a giant natural bowl and, as it gets colder, mist begins to hug the floodlights giving the occasion the feel of a packed out November evening FA Cup replay.
Bafana Bafana look like a much more decent side than they are given credit for, look dangerous at set pieces, and are inspired at times thanks to Steven Pienaar. If this kind of support is behind them for their Group A matches with France, Mexico and Uruguay I believe they can and will qualify for the second round.
The match finishes 1-1. I break my 'never-leave-a-match-before-the-final-whistle' rule on 87 minutes, otherwise I will be spending the whole night in Soweto rather than one of Joburg's rather leafier suburbs.
Monday, May 24
Back in January and February, when this project seemed virtual rather than real, I spent many long days and nights sending emails to football clubs, newspapers and TV companies informing each and all about the project.
Some replied saying - nice, but we are not interested. Most never replied.
It got to be rather demoralising at times. Not only did I begin to question if I was crazy to hitchbike from Kenya, but I also wondered whether all my emailing and letter writing was a complete and utter waste of time.
Today was the day I realised that some of my letter writing has paid off:
I have just found out that Italy's biggest football paper, Gazeta dello Sport, is giving me a 2-page feature. And one of my mates, Daniel, has sent me an email saying that he read a one-page feature about my journey in Metro (the UK's third biggest paper by circulation) this morning on his way to work.
Added to this, two TV channels have also been in contact in the last 24 hours, and want to meet prior to the World Cup.
It just shows that sometimes hard work does pay off...it just takes time to get the results.
Had a meeting with the Norwegian Refugee Council today. They talked us through the crisis in Somalia. There are now 3.2 million affected by the humanitarian crisis. The country is in a complete state of anarchy.
The people can try to escape by boat to Yemen or risk their lives to get to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. Dadaab is the world's biggest refugee camp with 270,000 currently 'living' there.
It is 80km from the Kenya/Somalia border - a border that is officially closed.
Bjorn flies in there tomorrow. The NRC couldn't find me a place on the flight in because it is full with UN personnel and relief equipment. It would have been an amazing experience but understandably other people are needed there more than me.
Bjorn will be my eyes and ears...and yours
Last minute dash around the shops this morning and now almost packed and ready to go. Have just taken the pile of things I planned to take, and halved it.