Video & Gallery: Footballers beat record with 40-hour match

FELIXSTOWE: It was a marathon of a match and helped raise thousands of pounds for our Have a Heart campaign.

FELIXSTOWE: It was a marathon of a match and helped raise thousands of pounds for our Have a Heart campaign.

A group of determined footballers were today nursing aching limbs after setting a new world record for the longest ever football match.

The players gathered in Felixstowe for the big kick off under floodlights on Friday night and they played on and on and on…until about 5pm yesterday evening when the final whistle blew.

The final score was Rovers 339 Thistle 210 and the match helped generate about �7,000 for the Evening Star's Have a Heart appeal.

The motley crew of sportsmen arrived at Eastwood Ho from around the county, with players coming from as far a field as Milton Keynes, London and Norwich.

They all showed great heart in making it through the 40 hour game - hitting the net 549 times in total - and there was a huge round of applause for the teams as they trudged off, completely exhausted.

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Organiser Ross Wishart, 26, who was on the pitch for more than 33 hours during the course of the game, said the hard work and strong spirit of those involved helped them through it.

He said: “They're all very motivated and they're not just friends I have forced into it. We put out an appeal weeks ago on the internet. They are mostly people I have met for the first time this weekend.

“I'm absolutely over the moon - I can't describe it. There's a feeling of sheer elation.

“We had 15 guys refereeing the game in all - and special thanks go to Tony and Paul from Leiston. It was Paul's birthday and he refereed the 2am to 5am slot yesterday.”

Each side managed to field at least seven players for the entire 40 hours and 36 seconds.

The previous benchmark was set at just over 36 hours but after Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie started the proceedings, the players battled through cold and wet weather, fatigue and some very big blisters in order to smash the record in emphatic style.

Send a message of congratulations to the lads - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk