A WORLD record for the longest five-a-side football marathon has been smashed by players in South Yorkshire.
The beautiful game was played for 43 hours at Wickersley School and Sports College in Rotherham after teaching staff put their best foot forward.
Paramedics from Yorkshire Air Ambulance are also flying high following the victory, which raised £5,500 for the ambulance service.
A previous attempt had to be abandoned part-way through because of bad weather, so it was a case of second time lucky for the record attempt.
Helicopter medic Pete Vallance, who organised the event, said: “We went for the record outside previously, during one of the wettest weekends of last summer, and we had to abandon things after 30 hours for safety reasons and injuries to players.
“So we were really determined to make it this time and everyone at Wickersley College was fantastic – even providing us with food and water over the weekend.
“It was really hard work and we were so grateful for the support we got.
“Most of us play five-a-side football on a regular basis but there was really no way you could prepare for the physical and mental toughness of this challenge.”
The 15 players were split into two teams in the colours black and white – and the white team members were the eventual winners with a scoreline of 827 goals to 454.
Pete added: “For every six hours played you could get a 30 minute rest, but time off the pitch was not included in the official playing time, so the match actually lasted longer than 43 hours.
“When the letter finally came through to say we had officially broken the record I was jumping around like a kid.
“It’s just brilliant.”
The money raised will help the service which needs £7,200 a day to keep both of its helicopters maintained and in the air.