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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 16:29 UK
City hosts record-breaking event
Ian Rush
Liverpool and Wales legend, Ian Rush, contracted meningitis aged just five

A 36-hour 'football-a-thon' is coming to Bristol in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for The Meningitis Trust.

Two teams, the Leeds Badgers and the Bristol Academy, will take part in the marathon match, which could go down in history as the longest ever.

The charity event will take place on April 11, 2009, at the Bristol Football Academy and will be watched by a team from the Guinness Book of Records.

It is supported by football legend Ian Rush, who had meningitis as a child.

Rush, who scored more than 200 goals for Liverpool and 28 for Wales, contracted the disease aged five and

I was one of the lucky ones...

Ian Rush MBE

spent four weeks in an oxygen tent before surviving with no lasting effects.

Ian Rush, said: "When I look back to contracting meningitis, I realise how different things could have been.

"I was one of the lucky ones and was not left with any long-lasting after-effects from the disease, but I know there are many people who are not so fortunate.

"The trust's work is really important, and I am inspired when I hear what people are doing to help."

He added: "This group of players are truly amazing and if they manage to set a new world record it will be a remarkable achievement - rather them than me for trying to play football for all that time!"

If all goes to plan, the event could smash the previous record held by Adesa and Stantec teams from Canada by two hours, 24 minutes.

The 36 players (18 per squad) will each have to play around 18 hours in order to beat it!

The charities we are raising money for mean a lot to us...
Simon Lynes, organiser

During the match, players are allowed only a five-minute break each hour; will play in each of the eleven positions and will not be allowed to leave the pitch side for the entire duration.

In order to surpass the current record, the teams will play from 10am on Saturday April 11, until 10pm on Sunday April 12.

Simon Lynes, organiser of the event, said, "After we played for 12 hours last year, we were exhausted but felt proud of the effort we had put in and the money we raised.

"The charities we are raising money for mean a lot to us and we hope that we can raise even more money this time around."

This event follows on from a 12-hour five-a-side match played in 2008, which raised £2000 for The Meningitis Trust.

The trust offers practical, emotional and financial support to anyone struggling to cope with the impact of the disease, and deals with about 20,000 people each year.

Part of the money raised will also go to Kids Adventure, a charity which helps care for kids who have been referred by social services and provides them with activities they are otherwise denied.

The players will be raising the money in memory of Jamie Burdett, who played for the Badgers and died from meningitis two years ago.

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11 Mar 09 |  Bristol
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12 Dec 08 |  Bristol



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