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Record rugby marathon for little soldiers

PUBLISHED: 10:15 05 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:15 05 June 2013

The West Norfolk rugby players who took part in the Scotty's Little Soldiers World Record match. (From L to R) Paul Denton, Christian May, Lawrence Savage and Mike Skinner.

The West Norfolk rugby players who took part in the Scotty's Little Soldiers World Record match. (From L to R) Paul Denton, Christian May, Lawrence Savage and Mike Skinner.

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Fourty-four men put their minds, bodies and spirits on the line to become record breakers over the weekend as they took part in a marathon 25-hour rugby match in aid of a King's Lynn charity.

A team from the combined armed forces took on a team representing Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity which helps the children of fallen soldiers, at the home of Premier League champions Leicester Tigers.

Among those taking part in the game at Welford Road on behalf of Scotty’s was West Norfolk Rugby player Lawrence Savage, 35.

“Without a doubt that is the hardest thing I will ever do, both physically and mentally,” he said. “But what a thing to have been part of.

“It was awesome, not just from the players but, from the physios, the medics, kids carrying water, the crowd, all the support really. It kept you going and without it we wouldn’t have done it. “What we found was that the intensity of the match was normal, none of us expected that, but full credit to the guys they gave it their all.

“There was a good spirit to it though, guys would tackle each other but if that guy was struggling to get back up you would help

him whatever team you were on.

“We’ve come off that feeling like a real band of brothers,” said Mr Savage, of King George V Avenue, King’s Lynn. “All the lads who took to the pitch came off feeling like we’ve got a real bond with each other.

“Having the Scotty’s kids there was a real motivation too, we lined up with them, had their names on our shirts and they came on to give us water and sweets to keep us going. It was inspiring, it kept us going and it was an honour to play for them.”

The players have broken at least two world records during the game including the world’s longest rugby match.

Kicking off just after 11am on Friday, May 31, the game continued non-stop until 12pm on Saturday, the equivalent of more than 18 normal matches in a row.

The monstrous match ended with Scotty’s having scored 828 points to the 1742 of Her Majesty’s Forces which has broken the record for the most points scored in a rugby union game.

Event manager Alan Knell, who showed solidarity with the players suffering by getting his legs waxed, said: “The whole event was very well supported, it’s been absolutely amazing.

“It was just breathtakingly brutal on the players. I’ve seen them trying to walk today, we’re calling it the Scotty’s waddle.

“No one broke anything and no one went to hospital which is good.

“I know for a fact that we’ve raised over £65,000 but I’m almost certain it’s a lot more than that. We could be looking at over £100,000 in total.”

It was not just the players who were raising money at the ground as a number of others joined in. Some spectators were sponsored to watch the full 25 hours while there was also merchandise and cakes on sale followed by an auction of rugby memorabilia on the Saturday evening.

For more information and to donate visit http://www.bmycharity.com/scottyworldrecordfundraiser.

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