Clitheroe footballers are shooting for a world record

Aiming for a world record are (from left) Scott Jennings from the North West Barber Co., Sam Rayson from Roefield, organiser Richard Blackburn, Dave Potts from Roefield and Dave Walmsley from (Pastures New)
Aiming for a world record are (from left) Scott Jennings from the North West Barber Co., Sam Rayson from Roefield, organiser Richard Blackburn, Dave Potts from Roefield and Dave Walmsley from (Pastures New)

A group of local footballers are aiming to play the long game this summer – and shoot themselves into the Guinness Book of Records.

Clitheroe charity worker Rick Blackburn is assembling a team of 16 players who will attempt to stage the longest ever game of five-a-side football.

The current record stands at a marathon 70 hours three mins – but Rick aims to smash that by setting a new high of 75 hours.

Most importantly, in doing so, they hope to raise over £10,000 for the Foundation for Ribble Valley Families where he currently works.

Several local businesses have already pledged their support with Hanson being an official sponsor and Roefield Leisure Centre providing the facilities as the venue for the record attempt.

Rick said: “I’ve been involved in a similar record-breaking attempt before back in 2015 – and it was a great experience – even though ultimately we missed out.

“Ever since, I’ve always wanted to try again and see if we can finally crack it this time. Whatever happens, we are aiming to raise a lot of money for a really worthy cause.

“I’d like to thank Hanson and Roefield Leisure for getting the ball rolling and agreeing to be our ‘pitch sponsor’ and venue. We’ve also had great support from Pastures New Recruitment and North West Barber Co.

“The response from local businesses in backing us has been brilliant but there’s still plenty of scope for more to get involved.

“There’s a couple of months to go yet –- but we can’t wait for the kick-off.”

Several local food outlets have agreed to bring some supplies – while plans are underway to host a family fun day on the final day of the attempt.

The attempt will form part of Roefield Leisure’s Summer Festival of Sport – and manager David Potts will be part of the team for the attempt.

David said: “‘We are happy that Rick has chosen Roefield Leisure to be the host of this record breaking event and proud to have two senior managers taking part.

“We look forward to supporting Richard through out the event and helping raise funds for the foundation for Ribble Valley families, a charity with whom we have worked closely with over the years.

“The five-a-side marathon will be one of the major events happening this summer in Roefield’s Festival of Sport which will be hosting lots of different sporting activities at the centre to raise money for good causes and local charities.

“Please keep following Roefield’s website and social media for more details and updates on events.”

Rick has worked at the FRVF – which is based at the Thrive Centre on Clitheroe Market – since the autumn.

The charity aims to help vulnerable families and young people around the area by boosting their emotional health and well-being.

Fiona Maudsley – co-founder of the FRVF – said: “We are so grateful to Rick and his team-mates for under-taking this incredible challenge to raise funds for the Foundation.

“We would urge local people and businesses to support them and help us to continue the important work we do in the area.

In order to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, they must complete the challenge in front of independent witnesses and FA qualified referees working in shifts.

For every 60 minutes completed, the players are allowed a five minute breather before going back on.

And if they get through a whole six hour block, they can have 30 minutes off - which maybe allows time for a quick nap.

The big kick off at 10am on Thursday, July 18th and amazingly they plan to continue playing until 1pm on the Sunday.

Anyone wishing to support the event or find out more information can contact Richard on 07413 053758.