independent

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Greystones United hopes to set new world record

Nicky McManus and Rod O’Shea, members of the Greystones United AFC fundraising committee
Nicky McManus and Rod O’Shea, members of the Greystones United AFC fundraising committee

Nick Bramhill

Greystones United AFC is bidding to set a new world record for the most number of players taking part in a continuous match.

The club has announced plans to host the ambitious event, which will involve hundreds of participants taking part in an uninterrupted 24-hour game of football.

The epic challenge - which has been launched as a fundraiser for a new clubhouse for the schoolboy club - would, if successful, break an official world-record for the highest number of players taking part in a game of 'small-sided football'.

The current world record for the most players in a non-stop five-a-side football match is 676, and was set almost seven years ago by UK-based Petts Wood F.C., when the home team defeated rivals 'South London Nomads' by a jaw-dropping score of 115-105.

However, chiefs of Greystones Utd AFC, which is one of the largest clubs in Ireland with 50 teams and nearly 1,000 active players, are optimistic about setting an official world record.

Club spokesman Nicky McManus said: 'It's quite a logistical challenge to organise, but we are very confident the world record attempt will be successful. We'd hope that between club members, families, friends and people within the locality, that we can get around 700 to 750 participants. But obviously the more we can get the better.'

Guinness chiefs have given the green light to the record attempt, which will take place in June over at least 24 hours.

It has yet to be confirmed whether the match will be contested by five-a-side or seven-a-side teams.

But the club has decided to record the mammoth soccer match, and send video evidence to Guinness world record chiefs, rather than using the more costly services of employing a live adjudicator on the day.

Guinness World record bosses have already imposed strict conditions on the event, which include a stipulation that the 'roll-on, roll-off' game cannot stop at all, and that each player must be on the pitch for at least 15 minutes and touch the ball a certain number of times, before being replaced.

McManus said: 'It's going to be a fantastic event, and it's already started to capture people's imaginations around here. It's open to everyone, and the more people who take part, then the better the record will be.

'It's going to be particularly exciting for the youngsters round here to come along. They'll love it when they play under the floodlights.'

The club is actively looking for sponsors for the world record attempt, which has been dubbed 'Midsummer Madness', and has a range of sponsorship packages on offer.

'As with all community clubs, funding is a key challenge,' said Nicky. 'We are running this event to raise money towards building a new clubhouse for the benefit of our own members, visiting teams and the local community.'

For members, the cost to register is €15, and €20 for non-members. To register your place, email clubadmin@guafc.ie. The world record attempt will run for a minimum of 24 hours from 6 p.m. on June 21.

This follows the club's successful 'Legends' event last year, which pitched former Irish internationals,including Paul McGrath, Ray Houghton, Ronnie Whelan and Tony Cascarino, against the local team.

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