Edinburgh festival sword swallower rushed to hospital as signature blade trick goes 'tragically wrong'
A well known Edinburgh sword swallower has endured serious injuries after his famous blade stunt went “tragically wrong”. The popular street artist Gareth Williams, known as The Mighty Gareth, was performing last week, when the act he’s been practising for the last 30 years failed and he was rushed to hospital.
Mr Williams, who is often seen performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, suffered “severe internal injuries” and “lost a significant amount of blood” and now faced a long road to recovery.
Writing in a crowdfunder, his friend said Mr Williams spent a week in hospital and is now continuing to recover at home, but he faces a long and slow process to fully heal from his injuries and will no longer be able to perform his signature trick due to the damage caused to his body during the horrific accident.
The Mighty Gareth is originally from Winchester and has been attracting huge crowds at Edinburgh’s Fringe festival for three decades. The highly experienced performer has successfully swallowed a two-foot sword more than 3,000 times without any incidents.Now a dear friend and fellow street performer Matt Keys is raising funds for Mr Williams to recover without worrying about losing income.
He said: “I’m raising funds to help my friend and fellow performer The Mighty Gareth recover from a serious injury he suffered whilst performing his famous sword swallowing act. Gareth is a highly experienced festival, circus and street performer. He can be seen annually on the big circus stage at Glastonbury Festival and at the Edinburgh Fringe Street Festival.
“He has swallowed a sword over 3000 times but last week it went tragically wrong and nearly killed him. He suffered an internal injury and severe internal bleeding. He spent a whole week in hospital and has now been released home but is looking at a slow recovery. Doctors have said he is no longer going to be able to perform his signature act, the sword swallow.”
The freak accident has left other members of the street performing community in shock, with close friends reaching out to support Gareth in his recovery. In a post on social media, Kate Mior said: “My very dear friend Gareth Williams had an accident while performing his 30-year-old sword swallowing routine. For those of you out there who think it isn’t real, I can assure you the danger is very real and it can happen to even the most seasoned pros. Thankfully, he is alive and on the road to recovery. But he will be out of commission for a while. Please donate something, Gareth is a wonderful person and a good friend. He helped me a lot when I was building my solo show.”