Liverpool Cathedral sets new world record!
Liverpool Cathedral has hosted the first ever football match inside a cathedral...
On Wednesday 4th October 2023 one of Britain’s great sporting icons made history by staging the first ever football match inside a cathedral.
The Pools celebrated its 100-year anniversary by teaming up with its home city’s most magnificent landmark building, Liverpool Cathedral, to set a new world record. A six-a-side game featuring football legends and celebrities was the first to be played in a cathedral anywhere in the world.
Players showed off their ball skills over two 15-minute halves on a temporary pitch in The Well of our Cathedral. Instead of the usual terraces, watching supporters will have a view of the High Altar. The extraordinary match was one of a series of events celebrating the centenary year of a groundbreaking company which started life in Liverpool in 1923 and is still based there today. From humble beginnings, The Pools went on to become the foundation of the family-run Littlewoods empire and a British matchday institution.
James Arnold, CEO of The Pools, said: “Liverpool as a city is passionate about football so to kick off our 100th birthday celebrations we wanted to create a memorable sporting spectacle. The Football Pools was born in Liverpool and celebrated 95 years at the Cathedral so we already have close ties, and we felt there was nowhere more stunning to set a new world record.”
As the largest cathedral in Britain and the fifth largest in Europe, We have hosted a diverse programme of cultural events including large-scale art installations, theatre productions and Cream Classical club nights.
But it’s never anything quite like this.
Players including Liverpool FC fan favourites Neil Ruddock, Alan Kennedy, John Barnes and Sammy Lee, and stars of the women’s game Rachel Brown-Finnis and Kelly Smith MBE, went for a record-setting win.
Liverpool football legend Ian Callaghan – who is already a record-holder himself, with the most appearances for the Reds – took on refereeing duties.
The event was hosted by sports presenter Steve Hothersall, who was also in the hot seat for a post-match Q&A.
Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, the Very Rev. Dr Sue Jones, who is also a keen football fan, said the match was an opportunity to bring together two of Liverpool’s best-loved icons.
Dean Sue said: “Liverpool Cathedral was built by the people, for the people, and we are a vibrant place that actively engages with visitors from the city, the UK and worldwide. “We want as many people as possible to encounter our incredible cathedral in different ways and in Liverpool few things inspire such strong emotions as football does. The Pools has given so much to Liverpool in its 100 years so we’re delighted to be a unique part of its centenary celebrations.”