Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending a very special fundraising event. Two teams of fans from Reading and Peterborough United got together at Goals Centre in Reading to try and break the world record for the longest ever 5-a-side football match.
The previous record of 40 hours was held by a group from Newcastle, these heroes smashed this record by two hours, finishing at 2pm on Sunday afternoon. The teams played through scorching temperatures during the day and the cold at night to achieve this remarkable feat. With a squad of just eight players each, it meant all of the players were on the pitch for at least 30 hours. The Reading team even went down to 6 players due to injuries, which makes their contribution even more amazing. They were however boosted on Friday evening when ex Reading player Ady Williams popped down to show his support.
The rules for this official Guinness world record are very strict, including the fact that except for “comfort breaks” none of the players in the squad were allowed to leave the courtside. They had to eat and rest there in chairs or sleeping bags. The Royals team even went down to 6 players due to injuries, which makes their contribution even more remarkable.
The final score was 778-640 to the Posh team, with James Fielding being top scorer with 211 goals!
In the process they were raising money for ourselves and the locally based CMV Association. So far over £1,800 has been raised for the two charities and we would like to thank everybody involved, the referees, time and record keepers, the ball sponsors and everybody who came down to support over the weekend.
The biggest thanks has to go to the players for an amazing achievement, putting themselves through unbelievable mental and physical strains in the name of charity.
Finally a special thanks from me to Victor Schooling for his brilliant organisation of the event and choosing Free Kicks as one of the charities to benefit from this fantastic achievement.