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Watch: Shropshire hockey players look to be in line for world record

Battling injury and fatigue, a Shropshire team of in-line hockey players are confident they have smashed the world record for longest ever match – and raised thousands of pounds while doing it.

The Newport Knights played for 42-and-a-half hours straight, some risking serious injuries to reach the target.

They managed to beat the previous world record of about 35 hours, and raised nearly £8,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The record attempt has yet to be officially verified.

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It was a mission with a cause for the team, who were playing in memory of Newport Knights founder, Jamie Payne.

Jamie died two years ago after battling illnesses his entire life, and had been part of a similar record attempt by the team which was turned down by Guinness.

And so when Jamie’s brother Ryan and fellow teammate Michael Perkins decided to do something for charity, they said it was obvious what they had to do.

The record attempt took place from Friday night through to Sunday morning at the Maurice Chandler Sports Centre in Market Drayton.

“We were a little shy of the target of 46 hours that we set ourselves, but we were just broken,” Michael, 34, said.

Players hard at it during the record breaking game

“We got to 42 and a half hours, which beat the previous record by six hours. We were done. It was mentally and physically exhausting. A number of the guys just couldn’t skate anymore.

“Morale was absolutely fantastic. When we finished it felt like we were giving in. Myself and Ryan were quite upset about calling it a day. It felt like we were letting people down. It was definitely the right call though. A number of people had some serious injuries. We had an elbow break, and another lad tore a thigh muscle.

“You’ve got to expect it. You’re not getting time to cool down properly and stretch off. We were doing an hour on, and hour off, but the hour you have off you’re just preparing mentally to put your skates back on. You don’t get chance to look after you muscles as much as you should do.”

The world record attempt claim will now be prepared and sent to Guinness. It includes a full video of the attempt, as well as signed documents by voluntary witnesses who took part in four-hour shifts throughout the effort.

Some of the players take a rest during the non-stop game

Michael, from Muxton in Telford, said the team were expecting to hear something by the end of August.

“We wanted to get the record, but the charity is the number one thing for us,” he said. “We know we’ve beaten the world record, but Guinness can be really strict. If they say they can’t validate, we can take away that we know we beat it. The amount we raised is brilliant. We exceeded the target on JustGiving, and with the old fashioned sponsorship forms. We wanted to go over £4,500, but are between the £7,000 and £8,000 mark. We’re so pleased with that.

“Thank you to everybody for all of the support. We have had a number of sponsors, companies that have given gifts for the raffle, and the witnesses came out and sat for four-hour slots through the night.”

Jamie would be proud of how the team had done, Michael said.

The world record attempt

“Without a doubt,” he said. “He would be super proud of everything.

“Jamie founded the Newport Knights 13 years ago. He built the club, it was always open arms, come and have a go. The spirit was great. When Jamie died, the club lost its way – it had lost its leader and it had lost its momentum.

“It took a lot to pull that back, but this weekend we have. I know Jamie would be overwhelmed by it. The team spirit is there, the moral is back. I can’t wait to get back in my skates and get training.”

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