Footballing legend Alan Shearer is watching his back as he and fellow competitor Robbie Savage enter the final day of the Battle of the Backsides challenge for Sport Relief. Guinness World Records title holder is Savage now trailing 903 seats behind former England captain Shearer, and with Robbie’s battered body leaving his shoulder and knees strapped up and his spirits sinking fast, it’s going to take all the muscle he can muster to make it to the top of the leader-board before the final whistle blows this afternoon on their brutal task.
The sunny skies over Wembley brought a welcome glimmer of hope to the two exhausted competitors this morning, both determined to use every last ounce of energy in their plight to become champion of the challenge. With the children of both Robbie and Alan sending their support, friendly faces Adrian Chiles, Rob Lee and BBC Sport royalty Dan Walker dropping by to cheer them on, and the ever style-conscious Savage taking the opportunity to top up his tan in day four’s sweltering sunshine, the end is now finally in sight for the two former professionals as they squat and slide their way towards the Royal Box – and, for one man, to victory. However, with their bums, backs, arms and legs suffering from the strain of completing over 35,000 seats each, it’s going to be no easy ride to the top.
As the pair started their final day at Wembley this morning, Alan said: “It sounded like a great idea when they first asked me a couple of months ago, and I didn’t think it would be this hard to be honest, it’s been far, far worse than I ever thought it would.
“My ankles, my back, my knees, my backside – everywhere’s aching, screaming for a rest!
“On Monday evening, I thought Friday would never ever arrive but it’s here. I have to say we’re looking forward to getting it done, it’s been incredibly hard work, but it’ll all be worth it when we finish and hopefully raise a lot of money, and all for a great cause.”
There’s still time for the public to show their support and get their fivers in on the final day of this epic challenge – for more information, visit sportrelief.com/backsides
Preparing to take on the final section of the challenge – home of the so-called “prawn sandwich brigade”, Robbie said: “The seats today have got armrests, and they’re quite springy – you have to hold them down with your body weight otherwise they’ll come up and hit you in the back. And they’ve got cupholders in front of them, so you struggle with your knees too. It seems like we’re moaning every day - we’re not moaning, we’re proud to have hopefully accomplished this for a fantastic cause - but it’s been very, very hard.”
At the close of day four, Alan had sailed ahead in the sunshine, covering a huge 7,976 seats and bringing his total to a whopping 37,714 seats covered across the week so far. Robbie’s determined efforts gained him a still-impressive 7,370 seats covered in day four, with his total for the week standing at 36,811 – over 80% of the stadium complete for our two challengers. The men have burned some serious calories during the past four frantic days too – with Savage burning a massive 10,690kcals, and Shearer topping the total with 12,456kcals burned across the week.
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 the Battle of the Backsides competition at www.sportrelief.com/backsides
. Each competition entry costs £5, and the whole £5 goes to Sport Relief. 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.
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