UK: An All-Star Charity XI, including members of the air conditioning industry, has achieved a new football record and raised £20,000 for charity.
Toshiba Air Conditioning, teamed up with Cool Designs Ltd and fellow distributors Dysk, GT Phelan and AMP to organise and sponsor the challenge to play five matches in five nations in less than 48 hours.
The team’s whistle-stop tour kicked off in Scotland, before playing back-to-back matches in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and, finally, England.
The team completed the five games in 45 hours, 52 minutes and 16 seconds, confirmed by the Football Association as a first. Simon Gerrard, CEO of Cheshire FA, congratulated the players and presented certificates to mark the achievement.
Following the final match at Cosey Club, Haslington, he presented a crystal trophy to Toshiba general manager David Dunn and Barry Donegan, who organised the challenge.
David Dunn said: “It was a fantastic weekend, and as hard and challenging as anything I have ever done. But well worth all the effort everyone put in. The event raised around £20,000 for Children in Need, and donations are still coming in.”
During the tour, some 6,000 people came to support the matches and see Pudsey bear playing in goal saving penalties at half time.
Former Liverpool player Alan Kennedy was among the former professionals on the team, and commented that it was a truly worthwhile tour which he had enjoyed tremendously.
The organisers have applied to have the achievement ratified as an official world record.