A new Guinness World Record was set on Friday July 11th for the longest game of Chinese Whispers involving 1,330 children and celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment.  Staged at Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium, the record breaking children raised more than £100,000 for Save the Children and Arsenal’s Charity of the Season, TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education.

The attempt which lasted for 2 hours and 4 minutes beat the existing record held by the Cycling Club of Chengdu, China, involving 1083 people in 2006.  In the last 2 years, there have been seven unsuccessful attempts to smash the record.

With monitors from Guinness World Records? in attendance, the children formed a huge circular formation seated in Emirates Stadium’s lower East Stand, and the Chinese Whisper started with the message ‘Together we will make a world of difference’  highlighting to the children that by working together they can help others lead happier, healthier lives.

The message was communicated in a variety of ways. Most of the children whispered the message but those unable to use speech as their main form of communication, used a language programme called Makaton. This is a language involving signs and symbols designed for those with a variety of communication and learning difficulties.

After the message had passed  200 children it had changed to ‘We’re breaking a record’ and after 500 children it was recorded as ‘Everyone is evil’. By the time the message reached the last child, it had changed dramatically and was read out as simply; ‘Haaaaa’.

Organised by BI, a communication and motivation company, in partnership with Arsenal FC, TreeHouse and Save the Children, the event saw children aged 7-11 from the Milton Keynes area, join forces with children from north London who participate in Arsenal in the Community initiatives and children’s groups associated with both charities. 

Money raised through the event will be used to further TreeHouse’s plans to open a National Centre for Autism Education in north London and will raise money for Save the Children’s biggest-ever global campaign to stop 10 million children dying each year before their fifth birthday.

Also supporting the event were Nick Hornby, Ainsley Harriott and Dermot O’Leary. Arsenal legends Charlie George and John Radford were joined by ex-England rugby player Austin Healy, Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley, impressionist Jon Culshaw, former England and Crystal Palace star John Salako, actress Michelle Collins and Holby City stars Amanda Mealing and Duncan Pow to cheer the children on and see them smash the record.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Jul 2008