Many tears were shed last night as the five-day football match which saw 1,411 goals, a new word record set and raised over £74,000 in honour of Craig Gowans came to an end.
Friends, family and teammates of the late Falkirk defender completed the 5-day football match to break the Guinness World Record for the longest 11-a-side football match.
As the game came to an end the players celebrated their achievement and many were in floods of tears. Craig’s tearful parents John and Sheila thanked all the players and army of volunteers for their help setting the event up.
Addressing the large crowd that turned up to watch the closing stages John said “This has been a tremendous event that has been supported by so many people. Craig’s friends organised it and in my eyes these young men are my heroes.
“I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done and I am so proud of everyone who helped us organise this match. It was a long time being planned but it worked out well in the end.
“The players who turned up and played showed superb character during the past five days.
“Our family are overjoyed by this and we are thankful to everyone.”
The match was supported by a number of high-profile football associations and charities such as the Scottish Football Association, Football Aid, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation and the Hibernian Football Community.
Craig, a former Daniel Stewarts and Melville College pupil, died during training aged just 17, when a 20ft long pole used for transportable nets he was instructed to carry came into contact with power lines. He had signed his professional contract with the club just two weeks prior to the accident.
The two 18-man squads have already smashed their £37,000 fundraising target, inspired by Craig’s professional number at Falkirk, number 37, and the total continues to rise.
The money raised will be used to fund enhancements to the new Sick Kids Hospital at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France, specifically a state-of-the-art Snoezelen room in Craig’s name. The space will be a calming room with multi-sensory equipment providing a relaxing and stimulating space for children with sensory impairments.
Rachel McKenzie, Head of Voluntary Fundraising at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the Craig Gowans Memorial Fund for pledging such an incredible amount of money to the Foundation over the last ten years.”
During the match John Hughes turned up with the Scottish Cup to lend his support.
Falkirk Football Club have also confirmed that gate money from their game against Hamilton will also be donated to the fund.
Chairman Doug Henderson,said “I’d like to congratulate the team, and new World Record Holders, for their great efforts over a monumental 105 hours, and to thank them also for getting together to deliver this wonderful tribute to Craig Gowans.
If you would like to donate to the fund please click here.