THE waiting is finally over for a girls football team who have officially written themselves in to the record books.
After months of waiting, Rossendale Mavericks FC and pupils from Fearns Community Sports College have been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records for staging the longest ever girls football match.
Now their round-the-clock efforts will appear in the next edition of the famous old book - much to the delight and relief of all concerned.
"When the girls found out, they were absolutely ecstatic," said Debbie Pope who helped organise the 24-hour football match. "The waiting has been nearly has bad as playing the match itself. But we are all delighted and relieved that we have finally been recognised."
It turned out to be a long drawn process and a race against time as the Mavericks had to follow a strict set of guidelines.
Debbie said: "We followed all of the right procedures but it proved to be a long drawn out process.
"We had to have witnesses presented and it took time to gather all of the statements. It took longer than we thought but thankfully there were not too many problems."
There was no current no record for the longest girls football match, but the club had to write a detailed application form to get the go-ahead for the marathon attempt.
Two witnesses had to be present at all times and a certificate will only be issued once the Guinness Book of Records are satisfied that video footage, photographic evidence and statements from witnesses all meet the strict guidelines.
The marathon match, which lasted a total of 24 hours and 30 minutes, was staged to raise the profile of girls football and also raise funds for two charities. More than £1300 was raised which was split between NSPCC and Marie Curie Care - charities which were chosen by the girls. The Mavericks Under 17s team, managed by Debbie's husband Andy and play in the North Valley Youth League, joined forces with Fearns Year 11 pupils and played in mixed teams. The football match itself kicked off a 9pm Friday night before the final whistle blew at 9.30pm on Saturday night with an astonishing total of 649 goals scored. It was played to FA rules with each player required to take five minutes rest for every hour they played.
Debbie thanked British Aerospace, Tufties Hairdressers, Phil Cobb Drylining and Bollin Valley Water Coolers for their support while the FA, Blackburn Rovers and Burnley all donated prizes to be raffled off.