5-a-side record beaters
The before image: the two sides line up ahead of their 46 hour game. (Photo: Glenn Michael Harper)

If you have ever felt a pang of sympathy for footballers forced to slug their way through another 30 minutes of extra time, spare a thought for for the 16 ambitious - and ultimately exhausted Londoners - who have broken the record for the longest five-a-side match.

The group played out their own rendition of the beautiful game for a staggering 46 hours and 24 minutes, eclipsing the previous record of 43 hours as they battled through fatigue and sleep deprivation for the equivalent of 31 full length versions of a match, racking up 1417 goals in the process.

With 12 officially licenced FA referees involved over the course of the game with official witnesses looking on at West London's Westway Sports Complex the 16 lads - 5 on each side with three rolling subsitutes each - completed the feat that will earn them a spot in the Guinness Book of Records.

In addition to having a worryingly strong passion for playing the game, the two sides toiled through the opening days of August to raise money for Inspiring Futures Uganda, hoping to raise £10,000 to develop confidence, skills and belief amongst poverty stricken youth. The amateur players involved have so far raised over £5000 with that total still rising.

"It still hasn't really sunk in what we've done yet," Josh Taylor, a young entrepreneur who registered 31 hours of playing time during the gruelling game told IB Times UK.

"There was a big rush to get everything organised in time; getting all the referees in and scheduled correctly, securing the venue, making sure all the players were ready for the day, but it went very smoothly. Every four hours we had to have a new referee and ensured we always had witnesses on sight while playing. But we all did very well."

(Photos: Glenn Michael Harper)

With rolling substitutes coming on and off, Josh and the 15 other amateurs involved over the days were able to squeeze in the occasional break during their attempt, enough time to fill themselves with energy bars and sports drinks and get a quick siesta pitch-side in the picturesque location under the A40.

In their unique circumstances, the competitive element of football was absent from the game, with much of the focus on the amity between the bunch even with the final score of 870-517, a result that left Josh will little aversion to losing on the football pitch in the future.

"Even though we were on two separate teams, everyone was looking out for each other," Josh added.

"We were constantly making sure everyone was getting enough water, getting a rest in when they had the opportunity, and helping each other through the 'dark spells' of the days.

"When it got to 2 or 3 in the morning, especially after the first 24 hours of play when your legs are aching and your body has seized up, it was difficult. Everyone took it in turns to 'take a hit', and find the strength to get over that second wall, with everyone pitching in to help in that.

"Preparing mentally wasn't something we could have been ready for. It was all about preparing to play for 46 hours and training your mind for it, physically you know what you can do before hand, it its completely different approach to the mental side."