Just over a year ago, former professional Australian rules footballer Brendan Fevola first attempted an ambitious record. 

Supported by his colleagues at Melbourne breakfast show Fifi, Fev & Nick, he attempted to catch a football dropped from a helicopter, at over 220 metres (700 ft) from the ground.

"Just over a year ago, something big happened on this show," recalls his colleague Fifi. "We saw the heart and soul of the man we know as Brendan Fevola."

That day resulted in an unsuccessful attempt, and a promise: Fev was going to break the record for highest altitude catch of an American football.

On 1 September 2022, Fev fulfilled his promise and successfully took home a Guinness World Records title for highest altitude catch of an American football.

Fourteen footballs were prepared to be thrown from a helicopter at an altitude of 221.89 metres (727.98 ft). 

Meanwhile, the athlete waited with his feet well planted on the ground, ready to run and catch the record-breaking ball with steady nerves and unwavering concentration.

The attempt took place in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and was announced today on the Australian radio breakfast show Fifi, Fev & Nick.

Fox’s morning show is hosted weekly by broadcaster Fifi Box, professional athlete and brand-new record holder Brendan Fevola and comedian Nick Cody.

"When he catches it I'm going to cry," Fifi said, as the two hosts commented Fev's second attempt live. "I will actually cry."

 Brendan Fevola kneeling with helicopter

Last year, the 41-year-old radio presenter slipped on his football gloves and tried to snatch the record for the very first time in a field outside of Melbourne. 

With a crowd cheering for him and a helicopter hovering in the sky right above his head, Fev tried to battle the wind, the mud and a storm rumbling in the distance to catch that life-changing football. However, the weather threw a curve ball at him...

Although Fev managed to hold onto one of the footballs after several attempts, the ball hit his shoulder pad and bounced up in the air again. 

The unlucky catch didn't follow the guidelines for the attempt: although it was a catch, it wasn't a record-breaking one.

Fevola catching the football

"Last year the conditions were horrendous," Fifi Box explained. 

"It was one of the most awful days. And I reckon we dropped a hundred balls and I think I caught maybe one? One might have hit me in the head!" Fev jokes.

Although Brendan couldn’t catch the ball, mainly due to the unfavourable weather conditions, it fuelled in the former elite athlete the will to achieve the record.

"It’s not a fail. It’s take one! We are coming back." - Fifi Box

And coming back they did, strong and more fired up than ever. 

After a year of training, it was time to try the ambitious task again – this time with a bigger, flashier location, determined to go big and go home with a brand new GWR certificate.

As a host of one of Australia's most-listened-to radio shows and with a record to finally set straight, this time Fevola attempted the ambitious record in the Princes Park stadium, Melbourne, under the eyes of 8 cameras and a filming crew. 

The witnesses present into the stadium followed the trajectory of the football, holding their breaths and cheering for their co-host. 

At last, Fev caught the coveted ball and fell to the ground, raising the football (all pre-certified to comply with the guidelines) in the air in a victorious gesture to celebrate the achievement. 

fevola holding the record breaking football

"Here he is!" Fifi cries as Fev shows, at last, the record-breaking football that earned him a world record. "He's the king. He's the legend!"

"I couldn't sleep last night," Fev said during the morning radio show that announced the record. "I’ve been on a high, it’s like I’ve played in a Grand Final and won.” 

At the broadcast, Guinness World Records adjudicator Will Munford confirmed that it was, indeed, a world record!

Fevola broke the record previously held by Rob Gronkowski and Jedd Fisch (both USA).

The previous record holders, former National Football League stars, successfully caught a ball dropped from a helicopter at 188.9m (620 ft) in April 2021 in Arizona, USA.