RAF pair smash snooker world record

A pair of snooker lovers are taking a well-earned break after playing the longest game of snooker ever recorded, to raise money for a national military charity. Sergeant Chris Bullen (left) and Corporal Joel Pickersgill (right) broke the world record for the longest snooker match, at the RAF Association’s Gateway Club. Sergeant Chris Bullen and Corporal Joel Pickersgill played snooker continuously for 87 hours and 33 minutes at the Royal Air Forces Association’s Gateway Club in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

The two friends, who met at RAF Odiham eight years ago and bonded over their love for the game, started playing on Wednesday 5 June at 10am and did not stop until 1.33am on Sunday 9 June.

Joel emerged victorious, beating his friend by 118 games to 48. No rematch is planned. The previous record for the longest snooker singles marathon was 85 hours, 19 minute and four seconds.

Chris Bullen and Joel Pickersgill, two RAF personnel aiming to break the world record of the longest snooker match, by playing 100 hours uninterrupted, at the RAFA Gateway Club near Newark. 4th June 2019

Joel (34) said:

“This was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it was something I planned to do for years, and it’s a great feeling being a record breaker.

“All the money raised will go to the RAF Association, the charity that supports wellbeing of the RAF family. The Association kindly allowed us to play our marathon upstairs at their Gateway Club, and dozens of volunteers helped adjudicate the match and organise everything.”

Over the course of the marathon session, the pair played 166 consecutive frames, potting more than 7,000 balls. The Guinness World Record rules allowed Chris and Joel a five minute break every hour, and these were accrued to give them precious nap breaks.

Chris (35) said:

“We had originally planned to play for 100 hours, but after nearly four days of non-stop play and after breaking the 85 hour record, we were both exhausted and decided to call it a night.

“I have colleagues and friends who were helped by the RAF Association, so we wanted to give something back to the charity. The local branch and club has been extremely supportive, and we’d like to personally thank everybody who helped with our challenge.”

Bob MacRae, Chairman of the RAF Association Newark and District Branch, said:

“Chris and Joel’s superhuman efforts are hugely appreciated. We’re thrilled that our members and associated volunteers could help them to make a little bit of history here using our snooker table.”

At the time of writing, Chris and Joel raised more than £1,200. Donations to their cause can still be made via their JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joel-pickersgill1984?utm_id=22

Notes to editors:

Alex Scoppie, Communications Officer, RAF Association – 0116 268 8755 or alex.scoppie@rafa.org.uk

About the Royal Air Forces Association

The Royal Air Forces Association (or RAF Association) is a membership organisation and registered charity that provides welfare support to the RAF family.

The Association recognises that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and we believe that such a sacrifice should not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.

Whether it’s an injured airman or woman fighting to get back on their feet, a young child missing their parent away on overseas operations, or a World War II veteran needing a shoulder to lean on, we are here to help all generations of RAF personnel and their families. We also support serving families if they need us. We give practical, emotional and financial support.

Our membership of 74,000 includes serving RAF personnel, veterans and members of the public who want to show their support for the work that we do.

Across the UK in 2017 the Association carried out more than 115,000 welfare contacts, calls and visits, helped tell thousands of bedtime stories to children whose parents were away on operations, and gave tailored holidays to 2,500 RAF veterans, widows and family at our Wings Breaks hotels.

Our support ranges from simply providing conversation and friendship to preparing and submitting application forms for financial assistance.

Charity numbers: 226686 (England and Wales), SCO37673 (Scotland).

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