BRIDGWATER footballers have smashed their fundraising target of £10,000 for three local charities, after 60 players and staff took on the gruelling challenge of completing one marathon each within 24 hours.

The #United4Bridgwater campaign saw Bridgwater Town and Yeovil United Football Clubs come together as one team on Saturday (February 6) for three worthy causes - Bridgwater Foodbank, Brainwave and the Gift of Giving Shoebox Appeal.

Eighteen members of the Bridgwater Town squad - Mark Armstrong, Ryan Brereton, Sam Crumb, Mike Duffy, Tom Ellis, Tom Fry, Tyne Govier, Jordan Greenwood, Adnan Hiroli, Jake Llewellyn, George Painter, Archie Sturdy, Jack Taylor, Dave Thorne, Sam Towler, Jake Viney, Josh Williams and Jamie Wilson - were joined by co-managers Karl Baggaley and Dave Pearse in the challenge, as well as 20 Yeovil United first team players, manager Jamie Sherwood, 14 Under-23 players and two Under-14s.

Those Yeovil United players were: Leah Burridge, Charlotte Buxton, Georgia Evans, TJ Gauvain, Sydney Hinchcliffe, Beth Howard, Bow Jackson, Katie Jones, Ffion Llewellyn, Chloe Lloyd, Jenna Markham, Ellie Sargent, Ellie Strippel, Anais Trinci, Laura Williams (all first team), Jazz Allen, Tia Asker, Keeley Banfield, Faith Bedford, Ellie-Mae Bell, Sam Cox, Megan Daly, Freya Gudge, Jennie Habbits, Clarissa Jackson, Niamh Nicolls, Gracie Owens, Ella Smith, Kayleigh Webber (all Under-23s), Sophia Blake and Rhianna Murry (both Under-14s).

Bridgwater chairman Bob Buckingham, chief executive Adam Murry and head of performance Ewan Greenhill also took on the 26.2-mile distance.

Participants (including two 13-year-old girls and one nine-year-old boy!) ran in their localities - Bridgwater, Bournemouth, South Wales and Florida - to raise much-needed funds for the charities who make a real difference to support families and young people in Bridgwater.

This is The West Country:

SCENIC: Yeovil United footballer and former Bridgwater & Taunton College student Leah Burridge (pic: twitter.com/leah_burridge)

Club chairman Buckingham said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many in our society and it was our duty to play our part.

“We specifically chose these organisations because of the outstanding work they do and help they provide to people from all walks of life.”

Murry, the CEO of both clubs, added: “It was an incredible and overwhelming effort from all involved, and I am very proud of everyone, especially as they only had three weeks’ preparation for this gruelling challenge.

“Our football clubs will continue to strive to be at the centre of the community, driving positive changes wherever we can.

“I would like to thank the generosity of all our sponsors, the media staff, my players and management staff, and everyone who helped towards making our challenge a successful one.”

The fundraising page for the challenge had a total of £10,022 - donated by 500 supporters - at the time of writing, with donations still welcome.