December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
TWENTY-two of the men who competed in the world’s longest ever rugby match were reunited in March on Saturday.
They took part in a charity match between March Bears and a Scotty’s Little Soldiers XV at Elm Road Sports Field, March.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which supports children who have lost parents who were serving in the armed forces. was founded by Walpole St Andrew widow Nikki Scott, whose late husband Corporal Lee Scott was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
She said: “It went really well. It was great to see all the players who took part in the marathon match again.
“The guys from March Bears were brilliant and the game was played in a great spirit.
“They have all stayed in touch and camped together after the game. They say they want to put a match on every year and another marathon match has even been suggested, which is madness.”
Former soldier Simon Whittaker, 40, of Norwood Road, March, was one of 44 men who slugged it out for 24 hours 50 minutes at Leicester Tigers’ Welford Road stadium to raise £60,000 for Scotty’s Little Soldiers in June.
Whittaker, who retired from the armed forces this year after 23 years of service which included tours of Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Cyprus, served in the same regiment as Corporal Scott for eight years.
The March Bears hooker said: “It was a fantastic day which was not just about the rugby. There was a special lunch, bouncy castle, tombola and more.
“I’m just relieved we did not have to play for 25 hours. There were a couple of injuries early on but the game went fine.
“We were enemies on the pitch but as soon as the final whistle blew we returned to being friends, socialising and having a laugh.”
You can make a £5 donation to Scotty’s Little Soldiers by texting CARE13 £5 to 70070. To find out more about the charity go to www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk