I wouldn’t recommend it or wish it on anyone. It was the most painful and challenging event of my life. But we did it in Lee Knight’s memory – please donate here.
I had to get cleared by the doctor to play the day before. I had come back from Russia with something that made me really run-down, weak and feverish. She said it was viral so there was nothing she could do, but that she couldn’t stop me either. Perfect. We started 9am Friday and waking up that morning was the first time in seven days I felt better than the previous. Very lucky escape.
Because of the consistent contact, turning and rubbing for hours, my big toe nail was already black, bruised and excruciating painful ‘just’ 30 hours in.
Throw in a little sleep deprivation with maximum periods on the bench of two hours, and for the last 20 hours I was on the verge of tears. It was torture.
When I was off I was trying to sleep through the pain. When I was on I had to limit my movement and was scared to receive the ball because I knew the defender would be more mobile than I was, and I only had a short passing range on the floor at my disposable.
If it was for my own glory I would have quit at 30 hours. Easy. I’d take the failure.
But I had no choice.
There were 24 of us players, a crew of volunteer staff and the Super White Army to cheer us on every minute of the 3000 we played through. Whether it was the club owners Mark and Nicola to kick us off, Jaime’s drunk mate barking out orders, or the solo fan I saw at 4am one night, we were always supported.
Around the court, banners reminded us of the great club behind us. “Where there is faith”, “Super White Army”, “World Record Holders’… we had an army behind us.
As if that wasn’t enough, then there was Lee. The reason for all of it. On halfway was canvas photo of Lee, Mike and their good friend Lee. Every time we scored a goal and struggled back to halfway, I saw him. And we scored eight hundred and ninety something.
Every time I found it painful and hard to walk let alone run, I saw him. And I thought.
He’s not here. He doesn’t have the chance. And even when he did, I’d learn more later when celebrating our achievement about how much he did, and how much he battled.
Near the end, as his condition was deteriorating, he only had use of a single finger. And still he was lobbying and pushing people from his computer to develop better support for disabled access to watch the football like the rest of us.
So we all fought through. For Lee. For Mike. And the Knights.
And we smashed the record by 10 hours.
Good luck to anyone who attempts to break the record. But that won’t help you at all.
Because you need hardened soldiers, willing to put their bodies on the line, troops of support staff off the court, and an army of passionate supporters to carry you through.
And I’ve only ever seen courage and passion of that level in the Lee Knight Family with the backing of the Super White Army.
And I will never forget that final whistle.
But a legacy doesn’t end. And his work didn’t stop when he passed.
So in acknowledgment of the super human strength these normal supporters showed, please, please donate to the lee Knight Foundation to continue his work for disabled supporters.
You only need to raise a finger.
But it could raise the quality of living for someone for life.