A Sussex charity squad is celebrating a phenomenal victory after setting a new world record for the longest continuous football match ever.
Heartbeat United, which is organised by chairman of Worthing United FC Steve Taylor, was set up after the loss of three local players - Matt Chaplain, Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt.
Matt Grimstone and Jacob both died during the Shoreham Airshow disaster last year, while Matt Chaplain, a former youth coach, tragically suffered a heart attack in 2013.
The match, which took place at Lancing College, started at 6am last Thursday and was played continuously until Bank Holiday Monday, lasting a total of 108 hours, three above the previous record.
The final score was 1,009 goals for the winning side to approximately 874 goals.
Steve said: “Everyone turned up at 6am on Thursday morning. First day went quite well, and players got burned by the sun. That evening, we had thunderstorms but the players kept going. They got through it, and they were never going to be beat.
“I am not sure if they will do it again. It became a military operation, but it was a massive effort. To beat the record, we were well pleased. I am so proud of the players and the support, and they did it for the three lads.”
The match consisted of two teams of 18 players, Team Heartbeat versus Team United, playing on a rotational basis. All players, officials and witnesses were volunteering their time.
All funds raised will be shared between the British Heart Foundation and a fund for a memorial dedicated to the three players.
Paul Manners, a singer from Britain’s Got Talent, attended the event to provide entertainment, and was joined by local singer Ella Collins-Godden, 16, who was performing and selling her charity single, a cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’.
Readers can watch the record moment here.
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