FOR Phileas Fogg it was around the world in 80 days, but for football fan Steve McCluskie it's around the world in 80 games.

The 48-year-old who hails from Stacksteads is aiming to organise that number of kickabouts as he travels around the globe on a personal odyssey.

Fed up with the greed and cynicism at the higher levels of the modern game, the former drug and alcohol service worker decided to sink redundancy money and his savings into chasing his dream.

He decided to undertake what he calls 'an amazing, life-affirming journey' with a ball and jumpers for posts after losing his job in April this year.

Fortunately for Mr McCluskie, he has an understanding partner who understands the thinking behind the trek.

But now, having used up his savings and redundancy money, he is hoping to raise another £15,000 to reach his goal.

And although he now lives in Ramsbottom, he says his final kickabout will be at Stacksteads Recreation Ground, where he played as a boy.

Mr McCluskie has so far visited Australia, new Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, South Carolina, Germany and France and played 27 games so far.

His next targets are Africa, India and the Middle East.

Mr McCluskie said: "It's been an amazing, life-affirming journey so far. What started out as just a kickabout has turned into something much more humbling, inspiring and powerful.

"The people I have met along the way and the organisations out there helping the most needy have just been incredible."

Mr McCluskie, who is writing a book on his adventure, said: "I got fed up with it all and fell out of love with the game. The total greed of the people at Fifa and so on was just shocking.

"But I started to think about when I was a kid and I really wanted to rediscover those feelings and that love."

He is planning to write a book on the adventure, which with funding he hopes to complete in a year.

He said: "It has just been bonkers, phenomenal."