Photo gallery: Hundreds of amateur footballers compress the Premier League into a day for Sport Relief
17:21 15 March 2014
The Premier League season is a long and gruelling one that begins at the end of summer and ends in the spring.
However, hundreds of football players compressed the exhausting highs and lows of a busy fixture list into a single day to help raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Twenty teams, each representing a top tier club, played 38 matches for the third Premier League In a Day event at the Norfolk FA Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe, Norwich, today.
Every team, with a squad of up to ten players, played the eight-minute long five-a-side games to create the triumphs and tribulations of one of the most famous football leagues in the world to raise funds for Sport Relief.
There was plenty of good sportsmanship and none of the disciplinary issues experienced in the real Premier League.
The tournament, which aims to raise £25,000 for Sport Relief charities, kicked off at 9am with some famous ex-footballers cheering from the sides and is set to end at 8.30pm.
Norwich City legends Bryan Gunn and Chris Sutton attended to lend their support to the charity event and George Burley, Martin Allen and Kevin Blackwell also showed up.
The team representing Stoke City, of Anglian Home Improvements, were winning the event at the halfway point.
Organiser Kirk Lanckmans, of Anglian Home Improvements, who was playing for Norwich City said: “We have 20 teams playing their hearts out and sweating their backsides off and everyone is enjoying the day. After every game they have four minutes to run to the next pitch and play the next game.”
“There are a lot of people who are fans of the teams they are playing for and they are loving it. I do not think we have had one card and in the three years we have been running it there has only been one red card. The spirit is really good. People are competitive, but it is respectful,” he said.
The last two Premier League In a Day events in 2010 and 2012 raised a total of £43,000 for Sport Relief charities in the UK and abroad, which this year is helping children who live on the streets or work in dangerous conditions, people affected by malaria, and local UK projects.
Teams represented businesses across Norfolk, including Anglian Home Improvements, Aviva, Norwich City Football Club, who played as Newcastle United, Naked Wines and City College Norwich.
The Premier League trophy and FA Cup were also on display today for youngsters to pose with for photographs.
The Football Development Centre was also the scene of a world record today by Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, who are the F2 Freestylers. The pair did the most consecutive football touches on the sole of their feet whilst balanced on the back of a person. They smashed their 125-touch record with 203 keepy uppies.
The footballers also ran a soccer skills event for around 70 children.
Mr Wingrove said: “The kids have been fantastic and there has been no rivalry between each team and they have picked up the skills really quickly.”