The record for the longest marathon playing touch/mini/tag rugby has been broken with a time of 33 hours, 33 minutes and 33 seconds by Hoylake Rugby Club (UK).
After years off the pitch, the team picked up their rugby equipment once again and attempted the world record in memory of their friend and former teammate, Dan Miller, who sadly passed away suddenly due to a heart attack in June 2020 at 43, leaving behind a wife and three children.
A capable and loved rugby player, Dan played for Hoylake when the team reached the finals of the Tetley Bitter Vase, a national competition for junior clubs spanning from the South West to the North of the UK.
The final of the tournament is played at Twickenham, where Hoylake fought for the cup in 2001. The team remembers those days fondly and decided to strive for an even tougher battle - achieving a world record to honour the memory of their teammate.
The previous record was set by Keele University back in 2017, with a game that lasted for 30 hours, 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
In memory of Dan's rugby position and shirt number, 3, Hoylake achieved their goal of breaking the record with a gruelling 33 hours 33 mins and 33 seconds.
Although they reached the Northern final at Twickenham and earned recognition and praises in the world of rugby, the team stopped playing in 2001.
However, the purpose of breaking a world record in Dan's memory reunited them following the devastating news.
Determined to do something in his honour and to raise money for Dan's favourite charity, WaterAid, the 28 players, ranging from 39-59, returned to the paddock – naming their initiative ‘Doinit4Dan’.
After over a year spent on and off the pitch preparing for the longest marathon playing touch/mini/tag rugby, navigating many lockdown restrictions, they finally attempted to snatch the record on a sunny summer weekend.
"Our reasons for taking this on were more than just achieving a world record, which of course is the icing on the cake," said Trevor Boult, a member of Hoylake team. "It’s also been about us being able to show Dan’s family what he meant to us, as our much-loved teammate and friend whilst achieving something out of the ordinary in his memory."
"Bringing 28 former rugby players back together from all over the country and seeing everybody work so hard to get themselves fit enough to achieve what we have done will be the lasting legacy," said Trevor. "Meanwhile, we'll raise significant sums for Dan’s favoured charity, Water Aid."
A Guinness World Records adjudicator was on hand to ensure the team adhered to all the record guidelines, while adhering to the UK government's COVID guidelines.
“It has been fantastic to see the group achieve the Guinness World Records title today, and raise money for a cause that was so important to a great friend of theirs. Their determination was truly inspiring and the outcome is so well deserved- huge congratulations to them!” - Joanne Brent, Guinness World Records adjudicator
Many high-profile players from all sports, as well as James Bond actor Daniel Craig - a former member of the same rugby club - addressed the Doinit4Dan team and Dan's family with heartfelt messages of support.