Goal! Guinness World Record is netted by Fen footballer

Niall Jackson from March completed a 54 hour five a side football match.

Niall Jackson from March completed a 54 hour five a side football match. - Credit: Archant

A Guinness World record has been kicked into touch thanks to a weekend of five a side football playing by a Fen teenager.

Niall Jackson joined 16 other players who took part in the weekend to clock up an impressive 54 hours of play.

They raised awareness of cancer at the same time in memory of one of the players’ fathers.

The new world record beats the previous attempt which was set at 53 hours and 10 minutes.

Neale Wade Academy student, Niall, 16, began the challenge at 7pm on Friday night and continued through three nights and two days to successfully complete the world record.

With eight in each team, players rotated to get one and a half hours sleep at a time, and were elated wit adrenalin when the event ended.

Niall’s Dad Stuart, who until recently coached Wimblington youth team, said: “The lads were buzzing on a high when it ended at 3am on Monday.

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“To see them carry on like they did in memory of one of the dads brought a lump to my throat, it strengthens your belief in human nature. The lads did really well.”

Niall was invited to take part in the challenge at Downham Market through his Dad’s contacts in the local footballing world.

Mr Jackson, of Woodland Gardens, was contacted by Pam Salmon, who used to be his assistant and now runs Fenland Rovers, to ask if Niall would consider getting involved.

The other players were from the Emneth and Downham area who set up the event to break a record and also raise awareness of cancer after footballer 23 year old James Grimes’ father died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

The event raised money for the Michelle Sherwood Cancer Fund, a Norfolk based charity, set up in memory of a nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, who died of a rare form of cancer aged just 25.