INSPIRED by a heroic disabled campaigner Darryl Gilmore has smashed the squash endurance world record.
The Military Provost soldier was cheered on by friends, relatives and charity champion David Griffin during a marathon session at Whale Island in Portsmouth.
He began his record playing colleague Dan Elam, 37, and alongside rivals Craig Fitall, 27, and Rob ‘Buck’ Buckland, 44 – but was the last man standing after 30 gruelling hours.
Lance Corporal Gilmore told The News two things wouldn’t let him give up; a promise to David that he would go the distance – and the threat of having to wear a Southampton FC shirt if he couldn’t.
‘There was no possible way that I would ever do that in my life,’ he said. ‘So no matter how tough it got I made myself keep going.
‘At first it was easy because we had two matches going on and me and Dan are competitive.
‘We wanted to beat Craig and Buck, but after they dropped out it became much harder. And at 21 hours when Dan had to stop the pain really hit me.’
The record attempt was inspired by David Griffin’s feat of endurance when the world’s oldest sufferer of a rare muscle-wasting disease walked one and a half miles after years confined to a wheelchair. And like David the challenge has raised thousands of pounds for Help for Heroes.
Powered by Krispy Kreme doughnuts and mint Aeros the group were hoping to reach 48 hours, but Darryl decided to stop once he reached 30. ‘We said we would play 10 hours for every half mile David walked,’ he said. ‘It was a coincidence that 30 hours would have beaten the doubles record.
‘The single record was only 24 hours, but I had to keep going because I didn’t want to let David down.’
But 56-year-old David played down his achievement and paid tribute to L Cpl Gilmore and his colleagues.
‘What they did is harder than my challenge, 30 hours must have seemed like a lifetime,’ he said.
‘You have to do these things while you can, especially for charity.’