If at First You Don't Succeed...Try, Try, Again

Bridgnorth firefighter Luke Veal (green sleeves) in last year's record rugby attempt
Bridgnorth firefighter Luke Veal (green sleeves) in last year's record rugby attempt

A Shropshire firefighter is taking part in a second attempt to beat the world record for playing the longest ever game of rugby after the Guiness Book of Records called foul and ruled out the first marathon effort.

Officials disallowed a record breaking match when six hours of film footage vanished despite the team playing consecutive rugby for 32 hours. Without the full film evidence, they could not prove the record had been smashed.

So on May 4 and 5, Luke will join other firefighters from across the UK to replay last year’s match and raise funds for both the Fire Fighters’ Charity and Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a military charity which supports bereaved children who have lost a parent serving in the British Armed Forces.

Luke’s justgiving page is justgiving/lukeveal2

At the time, Luke said it was “the hardest thing” he had ever done to stay awake for the game which was played at a fast pace throughout the night on a Worcester pitch.

“We are going to have to do it all over again because the film footage was lost,” said Luke, who is also a firefighter for the Ministry of Defence at Donnington in Telford as well as an on call firefighter at Bridgnorth Fire Station.

“It was hell on earth last time but I guess I’m looking forward to doing it all again,” he added.

He will join a squad of 23 firefighters playing against a side from Scotty’s Little Soldiers at the Worcester Warriors Premiership Rugby ground. The game kicks off at 10am on May 4 when they are hoping spectators will turn up to shout their support. They are looking to beat the world record which still stands at 28hrs and 28mns.

The Fire Fighters Charity gives respite, recuperation and rehabilitation to sick or injured firefighters and their families at national centres around the country. Set up in 1943 to help wounded firefighters and their families during Word War 2, it is entirely self funding and needs £8m a year to continue.

The services which the charity offer are open to all serving operational fire fighters, Fire Control, support staff as well as those who are retired.

20th April, 2018