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Apr 13

Yorkshire Air Ambulance are flying high after netting an amazing world record.

Three helicopter medics with family and friends joined forces with teaching staff from Wickersley School and Sports College, Rotherham, to break the record for the longest marathon playing five-a-side football.

The 15 players were split into a white and black team and in a staggering feat of endurance kept passing, tackling and shooting for an amazing 43 hours with the white team eventually running out winners by 827-454.

The marathon match also raised nearly £5,500 for the YAA which provides a life-saving rapid response emergency service to five million people across the region.

This was the second time the air ambulance paramedics had tried to break the five-a-side football playing record. YAA paramedic Pete Vallance, who organised the attempt, said: "We went for the record outside during one of the wettest weekends of last summer and had to abandon it after 30 hours for safety reasons and injuries to players.

So we were really determined to make it this time and everyone at Wickersley College was fantastic – even providing us with food and water over the weekend.

It was really hard and we were so grateful for the support we got. Most of us play five-a-side football on a regular basis but there was really no way you could prepare for the physical and mental toughness of this challenge.

For every six hours played you could get a 30 minute rest, but time off the pitch was no included in the official playing time, so the match actually lasted longer than 43 hours.

When the letter finally came through to say we had officially broken the record I was jumping around like a kid. It's just brilliant."

Pete was joined in the attempt by fellow paramedics Matt Syrat and Paul Kilner – all well-known faces to fans of the BBC series Helicopter Heroes which returns to our screens this Spring.

Photo (from L-R) shows YAA paramedics Matt Syrat, Pete Vallance and Paul Kilner with fellow Guinness World Record holders from Wickersley School and Sports College.

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