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Students take time out to become record-breaking rugby fans

Leicester Mercury story, February 19, 2004

Hundreds of students and rugby fans have guaranteed their place in the record books - by doing exactly what they do best.

A total of 844 people gathered at the Tigers' Welford Road ground in a bid to mount the biggest drinking 'boat race'.

They lined up in the Alliance and Leicester stand in front of more than 1,000 half-pints of Tiger's Best Bitter.

They then each took it in turns to down their drinks, taking more than three hours to complete the challenge - all under the watchful eye of world-record invigilators.

Now organisers have received official confirmation that they have smashed the previous record, set in March 2002.

They also received a certificate to commemorate the event and to inform them of their entry into the famous Guinness Book of World Records.

A Guinness spokesman said: "We congratulate them on their new record. It's quite an unusual achievement.

"We would certainly be interested in seeing if they want to break their own record this year."

Tigers stars Lewis Moody and Neil Back joined the University of Leicester and De Montfort University teams in May to set the record for the most people lining up to down a drink in turn.

It took place before the annual varsity match between the two universities in May last year.

They smashed the previous record set by Bath University's Maths Society, when they gathered 729 students to line up to drink in turn.

Jonathan Phillips, 22, current captain of the De Montfort team, said: "It was a great day for both spectators and players."

James Weaver, 21, was captain of the University of Leicester team, which lost 30-25 on the day. He said: "It was a great day - except for the final result - but everyone did have a superb time."

Jim Overend, Tigers' community development manager, said: "There aren't many people around who can say they are record breakers, even though it's for consuming beer."

About 200 was raised through ticket sales and was later donated to the NSPCC children's charity.

This year's match will raise funds for the Wooden Spoon Society, which helps disadvantaged local children.

It takes place on May 7, when the University of Leicester ladies' team will take on De Montfort's ladies at 6pm.

The men's game will start at 7.30pm. For tickets call 08701 283430.

Hardip Sidhu

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Last updated: 19 February 2004 11:00
Created by: Barbara Whiteman

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