CLIVE Loveday, who lost his teenage son to alcohol poisoning after a drinking game went wrong, has condemned an internet drinking craze which has been linked to two deaths in the UK.
Neknomination, which has littered Facebook users’ news feeds in the past fortnight, involves participants filming themselves as they fill a glass with alcohol and down it before nominating friends to follow suit in their own videos.
Two men who died at the weekend in London and Cardiff are said to have taken part in the craze in the hours leading up to their deaths, as health warnings and opposition to the game gather momentum.
Clive, a 57-year-old postman of Hythe Road, has been hosting presentations in schools for nine years after his son Matthew died on New Year’s Eve 2005 when a drinking game went wrong.
The former Commonweal School pupil was aged 19 when he died from alcohol poisoning. His father has hit out at those who participate in the game.
He said: “You get the peer pressure from other friends for them to do it. On top of that, sometimes with the computers in their bedrooms, there is no one to stop them or give them advice.
“I can accept a pint of lager is doable, but there are no barriers to some of these videos.”
Across the internet there have been reports of pints of straight gin being sunk, along with live goldfish and car oil.
However, Clive has said a ban on the craze would not bring it to an end.
“They need to crank what they’re drinking down because if you try to stop it completely you will give them something to rebel against. These people don’t understand the power of alcohol.
“When you combine their age with the glamour of the mixed drink, the colour of vodka with an orange juice, it leads to trouble.
“There’s an edge of competitiveness to it because that goes back to the peer pressure. They all want to prove they can drink more than each other.”
One Swindon man, who chose to remain anonymous, took part in the game with a cider, jagermeister, egg, mustard, pickle, tomato juice and pepper concoction. He said: “As soon as I was nominated, I had a couple of texts through from my mates letting me know and I think that’s the main reason that it’s so popular, because it can be seen by all of your mates.
“There’s certainly an added pressure not to let the side down too. I didn’t think of any risks involved because I don’t think there are many at all, if it’s done with the amount of alcohol in mind, it becomes stupid when you see lads drinking two litres of straight vodka.
“Apart from that, I think it’s a bit of a laugh with your mates.”