A GROUP of Chester FC fans took part in a gruelling 24-hour ‘footyathon’ to help raise funds for Comic Relief.
Members of Chester Supporters FC took to the pitch at the Goals Soccer Centre, off Bumpers Lane, Chester, for the heroic effort, which involved nearly 30 players and raised over £3,000 for the cause.
Kicking off at midday on Thursday, the players took it in turns to play through the night until the final whistle blew at 12 noon the following day – after 24 hours of football and over 800 goals scored.
Chester FC manager Neil Young and a number of the clubs players came across to offer their support, including former striker Michael Wilde, with the Blues triumphing over the Yellows, 428 to 405.
Colin Perry, centre manager at Goals in Chester, said: “The event was fantastic and it was a brilliant effort from all those involved to raise the money and get through to the final whistle.
“When they came off at the end there were some seriously heavy legs. The lads started off as if they were playing just an hour and really went for it from the first whistle. It was competitive throughout.
“I played myself for 30 minutes but a few of our staff joined the Chester fans and took to the pitch to help the cause.
“The lads were flagging when the Chester players came along and they upped their game. When Neil Young came over on Friday morning there were some jelly legs but the lads dug deep and played their hearts out as they wanted to impress him.
“I think they were hoping he would be impressed and he would sign them up. It gave them a big boost to have people like Neil and Michael (Wilde) turn up and cheer them on.”
With the current fundraising total standing at over £3,000, Colin believes the final total could be nearer to £4,000, praising the effort of the players and their dedication to the cause.
“A similar type of event was held in one of the Liverpool centres and they couldn’t finish it and couldn’t last the pace,” said Colin.
“I think that the final figure could be closer to £4,000 which would represent a massive achievement for all those involved.
“It is great that we have been able to link up with the club in this kind of way and help the lads raise money for such a great cause.”
Chester Supporters FC, formed in 2006, play in a national fans football league every Saturday as well as training together regularly.
To sponsor the team, visit http://my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/Chestersfc24.