A former grammar school student has become the first Briton to die as a result of accepting a 'Neknomination' dare.
Isaac Richardson, 20, told his friend he would “outdo” previous competitors in the controversial drinking game, before downing a lethal cocktail of wine, whisky, vodka, and lager, at O’Connor’s backpacker hostel in Woolwich, south-east London in the early hours of Sunday morning.
After going to the bathroom to vomit, he was unconscious within two minutes, and was taken to hospital where he died in on Saturday morning, the Daily Mail reported.
"They did their best but he was dead," 35-year-old Tobi Obiwale, an employee at the hostel, told the Daily Mail.
Following reports of Mr Richardson's death, it emerged that police were investigating whether a Welsh man may have also died as a result of the game over the weekend.
Mr Richardson, a hotel receptionist, is one of thousands of Britons to reportedly take part in the game of dares that originated in Australia, and has since spread across the world via the internet.
Those who take part are expected to complete a dare after drinking. It appears Mr Richardson's challenge was to drink the dangerous alcoholic concoction.
The most controversial internet crazes
The most controversial internet crazes
1/7 Gun Selfies
Where it actually came from remains a mystery, but the 'Selfie' remains a popular feature on the internet - it was even named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries in 2013. However, a number of gangs in America have taken it a step further, posting 'gun selfies' of themselves. Last year, two men were charged for 142 counts of possession of a firearm and were bailed by police after posting numerous photos. The craze has led to several calls for photos to be taken down, with parents fearing that children could try and create their own poses.
Originating in Australia in 2008, the trend of 'planking' swept Britain a year later. The craze, in which people form a straight figure with hands down by their sides, had thousands of participants uploading their efforts on to Facebook. While most were harmless enough, the more daring have been known to plank across railway tracks and between buildings, causing major health concerns. In 2011, a 20-year-old man died after 'planking' on a seven-story building in Australia.
Twerking, a mixture of twisting and jerking, has been around since the late 1990s, but its popularity dramatically increased after Miley Cyrus 'twerked' at the 2013 MTV VMA awards with Robin Thicke, prompting fans to upload their own versions on Youtube - we've even had twerking stormtroopers. It's since been accused of corrupting the minds of young people and, last year, 33 students were suspended after making a video of themselves 'twerking' using school equipment.
4/7 Happy Slap
It's been almost a decade since the Happy Slap craze broke out in the UK, but what started out in as a small joke between friends in Lewisham in 2004 eventually became a nationwide phenomenon. Happy Slapping involved a victim being filmed on a camera phone getting slapped. As the craze spread, incidents became more and more vicious and it was linked to a rise in bullying in school playgrounds. In 2008, a teenage girl was sentenced to two years' detention after filming the fatal beating of a man.
'Tombstoning' emerged in 2012 as a much more dangerous fad. It involved finding the highest rock to leap from, giving jumpers sufficient time to change their body position to resemble a tomb falling into the sea. It was invented initially as a way to keep cool during sizzling temperatures, but as the challenges became more daunting, some experienced horrific injuries as a result of jumping into shallow or rocky waters.
While not as dangerous as other internet fascinations, McDonald's staff are now finding themselves on the receiving end of another internet craze. 'McDiving' started last year and normally comes at the end of an alcohol-fuelled night out, where it is then customary for a 'McDiver' to go to the nearest McDonald's and launch themselves over the counter. McDonald's franchises have even started hiring bouncers at peak times of the day to deal with any mischief makers.
7/7 Gallon Smashing
Given that glossy floors are prominent in supermarkets, it would be deemed acceptable to see the occasional person slip over. But this is no accident. Gallon smashing started to appear on Youtube last year and has becoming increasingly popular in the US. It sees agile teenagers throw gallons of milk in the air as well as hurtling themselves on to the ground. However, with the mess, cost and inconvenience that is caused, the 'gallon smashing' craze has seen security stepped up in supermarkets.
The game has quickly become increasingly dangerous, as ‘contestants’ film and post their challenges on social media websites, raising the stakes with each new challenge.
The incident follows two deaths in Ireland that were linked to the game in January.
The 20-year-old from Colchester, Essex, who attended the prestigious Colchester Royal Grammar School, was working part-time as a receptionist to pay for his accommodation at the £12.50-a-night hostel. He was drinking in the pub below with his friend, 30-year-old Daniel Lee, before he died.
Mr Lee told the newspaper: “He was telling me that he was Neknominated and I’d never heard of it. He said he’d been given a dare to drink something messed up.
“He told me other people were putting Listerine and toothpaste into their drinks but he said he just wanted to mix loads of alcohol and down it.
“He said, 'I want to outdo people; I want to do something that nobody has ever done'.”
Mr Lee said his friend then returned to the hostel to complete the challenge with some friends, but when Mr Lee went to meet them, Mr Richardson was on the ground.
“The paramedics were trying to revive him but he was dead. He wasn’t moving, I knew he was dead,” he said.
According to Mr Obiwale, he filmed Mr Richardson so he could upload his challenge onto Facebook.
Mr Richardson drank a 1.5 litre mixture consisting of a whole bottle of white wine with a small bottle of vodka, a quart of whisky and a can of lager.
“I filmed him and he introduced himself saying, “I’m Isaac, I’m going to down this pitcher of vodka, wine, whisky and lager,” Mr Obiwale said after the incident.
His mother said that she did not want to comment on his death, but did say that it was the “worst day of her life”.