Footballing legends Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage today face the first of 45,000 seats as they embark on day one of their five day challenge for Sport Relief - The Battle of the Backsides. The contest will see the pair frantically race to be the first to sit on half the seats at Wembley connected by EE - a brutal 45,000 seats each. This is the first time a challenge like this has ever been attempted in the UK and it’s all to raise funds for Sport Relief.
After padding up their posteriors and enjoying some pre-match banter, Alan and Robbie kicked off their brutal challenge at 7.38am live on BBC Radio 5Live. Within the first hour alone the contest was already heating up, with the first stats of the day at 8am revealing Alan taking an early lead – sitting on 535 seats to Robbie’s 520. Although that total alone may sound epic, it’s only 1% complete of their hellish five days of squatting and sliding.
As the pair prepared to take a seat and start their first sitting session of the week, Alan said: “In a strange way I’m looking forward to it. I never realised Wembley Stadium was that big, but sitting here in this top tier, what a magnificent view. The only thing that’s spoiling it is Robbie sat next to me! 13 hours a day for 5 days is going to be one hell of a hard task. We’ve both been doing a bit of training, and judging by the size of Wembley it’s a good job as well! ”
Speaking before the early-morning whistle blew to start the challenge, Robbie said: “I’m up early, the sun is shining and Wembley Stadium looks magnificent.
“I don’t think people realise the magnitude of the task until you’re here in an empty stadium, honestly it’s ridiculous! I think if we both get to the end and we’ve raised some money, we’ll be happy.”
To support them in this brutal task, as well as to be in with the chance to win some amazing prizes, the public can enter a competition at www.sportrelief.com/backsides. Each competition entry costs £5, and there are some incredible prizes up for grabs including tickets to see England play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, two centre court tickets to Wimbledon 2nd round or tickets to One Direction on their UK tour. There’s a limited 90,000 entries available to represent the number of seats collectively sat on during the challenge.
Alan and Robbie are putting their bottoms on the line in the hope of raising a lifesaving sum of cash to help change the lives of vulnerable people in the UK and around the world.
Fans can follow all the action from Wembley over the five days with regular updates on BBC Radio 5 live and bbc.co.uk/backsides