On 6 June last year, 43-year-old Wirral-born husband and father of three, Dan Miller, died suddenly from a massive heart attack devastating his young family, his four brothers, and teammates at Hoylake Rugby Club.
A year on from his death, a committed group of Dan’s teammates at Hoylake Rugby Club have set a new Guinness World Record for playing touch rugby. The team played continuously from 8am on Friday 16 July until just after 5:30pm on Saturday 17 July.
The record was equalled a short time after 2pm on the 17th, when the timer showed 30 hours, 3 minutes and 11 seconds had elapsed since the start of the game. A little over 3½ hours later at 5:33pm (plus 33 seconds!) the team’s target time was achieved, smashing the previous record.
There were 28 players taking part and they took turns in shifts to play all day and right through the night, even sleeping next to the field in a marquee laid out with army beds. The 28 members of the ‘Doinit4Dan’ team, who are aged between 35 and 59, include Dan’s brother Sam and his three brothers-in-law. They chose a target of playing non-stop for 33 hours 33 mins and 33 seconds, as Dan’s rugby position was number 3.
The previous record was held by Keele University Men’s Rugby Union Club who set a record of 30 hours, 3 minutes and 11 seconds at Newcastle-under-Lyme on 22 April 2017.
The Guinness World Records organisation was been so impressed by the team’s undertaking, that they were filming a special documentary about the team’s incredible efforts.
Dan was an active supporter of WaterAid, whose mission is to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to the millions of people around the world who do not have access to these basic human rights – and which form the building blocks of lifting people out of poverty. So far the team have raised £7,331 for the cause.
The Doinit4Dan team had the support of some very high-profile individuals, including James Bond actor, Daniel Craig, who is also a former club member and junior player.
Also supporting the boys with good luck video messages were England head coach Eddie Jones, Leicester player, James Whitcombe; Callum Braley, Seb Negri and Luca Bigi from Italian team Treviso; as well as Katy Daley-McLean, who led England to victory in the 2014 World Cup and has represented England 116 times. As well as England and Wasps player, Kieran Brookes, and fellow Wasps teammates Tommy Taylor and Tom Cruse.
You can still donate to the Water Aid fundraiser at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WaterAid4Dan
All images: www.fotopiaimages.com