Footballers played non-stop for 12 hours in a “gruelling effort” to raise money for their beloved club.

The East Barnet Old Grammarians played seven-a-side matches from 8am to 8pm on Saturday, June 14, raising £3,000.

The club, established in 1948 by the former headmaster of East Barnet Grammar School, organises men's and women’s teams from ages seven to 60 and above.

It invests at least £8,000 a year in the pitch at its ground in Allen Drive.

But this year, flooding shut down many matches and the club used its savings for repairs, putting a strain on its finances.

Rose DeLa Bertauche, 61, a volunteer with the club who helped put on the fundraising event, said: “They played constantly, almost without a break. They all had many blisters, but the club means so much to them.”

The retired lecturer supports the club because her 67-year-old husband, Roy, played there for half a century. According to Mrs DeLa Bertauche, losing the club because of a lack of money would be “devastating”.

She added: “They would lose their Saturday football, their training, their friends. It wouldn’t only devastate the current players, it would be even more so for the original players who still talk about their old days.

“I can see how worthwhile the club is. It’s more than football. It’s very important to my husband and lots of people I know. What he has had gained from the club he couldn’t get anywhere else.”

Chairman Terry Boyce, 76, has played for the club for 45 years. He said: “It was a really a fun day. It wasn’t too competitive. They kept their spirits up. It’s going to be an ongoing event now. The facilities will deteriorate unless we can continue to fundraise and invest in the fields.”

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