What A Try

Bridgnorth firefighter Luke Veal (in green sleeves) celebrates the end of the 30 hour world beating rugby challenge for charity
Bridgnorth firefighter Luke Veal (in green sleeves) celebrates the end of the 30 hour world beating rugby challenge for charity
22nd May, 2017

A Bridgnorth firefighter was among a team of UK sportsmen who got into the record books by playing the longest ever game of rugby.

Firefighter Luke Veal and colleagues from across the UK played a full contact Rugby Union match in Worcester to raise £50,000 for the Fire Fighters’ Charity and Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

They beat the current Guiness World Record of 28hrs and 23 mns by more than two hours in a long drawn out game, especially for the spectators, which went on through the night.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The game was played at an incredible pace from beginning to end. It calmed down slightly during the night but when the sun came up it was all guns blazing again,” said Luke, who works for Bridgnorth Aluminium, and is an “on call” firefighter for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Firefighters Charity team of 23 players won the match with 1,603 points to 1,483 for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a military charity which supports bereaved children who have lost a parent serving in the British Armed Forces.

The match kicked off earlier this month on May 12 at the Worcester Warriors Premiership Rugby ground.

Luke, who spent some time recuperating after breaking a knee ligament while skiing, said he wanted to give something back to the Fire Fighters’ Charity which helped him when he was injured.

“The injury meant that I couldn’t do operational duties for eight months. But due to fantastic support from the charity and physiotherapy in Penrith at their recuperation centre, I returned to full duties,” said Luke, a firefighter for eight years.

“Bridgnorth Aluminium, where I work as a fire engineer, is kindly match funding me up to £1,000.” 

Luke’s justgiving page is justgiving/lukeveal1

During the two day rugby challenge, there was camping, games and activities for families, celebrity appearances and live entertainment.

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.  

 

Bridgnorth firefighter Luke Veal (in green sleeves) at the end of the 30 hour world beating rugby challenge for charity
Bridgnorth firefighter Luke Veal (in green sleeves) during the 30 hour world beating rugby challenge for charity

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