FORMER Leigh Centurions player Tommy Martyn will be among 45 climbers seeking to gain a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by staging the highest game of football.

The team, who set off on Wednesday, intend on playing a full 90-minute game at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and that mission includes taking up and erecting the full set of metal goalposts.

The challenge, organised by the Steve Prescott Foundation, will raise funds for The Christie Hospital in Manchester, the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and the SPF Special Causes Fund and follows on a similar record-breaking high-altitude game of rugby.

Leigh-born Tommy said: “I’d have sooner played rugby as I have two left feet. But I understand it will the slowest game of football because we have to put the posts up, mark the pitch and play the full 90 minutes.

“It should be good and I already have referee Mark Halsey in my back pocket!”

But for Tommy, who played for the Leythers in 2003 and 2004 before joining the coaching staff, it is about much more than breaking records and is more about building the legacy of his former teammate, who passed away in November 2013 at the age of 39 after a long battle against cancer.

A veteran of a number of gruelling challenges over the past 10 years, Tommy said: “It is important that we keep Steve’s legacy alive because he meant so much to us.

“I played alongside him for five or six seasons and I could rely on him on a rugby field.

“It is important for the young people growing up, who did not really know Steve Prescott – the more we talk about him and what he did, the more we create.”

It is particularly poignant this year for Tommy, who lost his father, Tommy Martyn Snr, to cancer last November.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer. Last year it affected me with the passing of my father.

“We have got to try and beat this and keep the great man’s legacy and alive and keep contributing to the charities,” he said.

He said the team are already equipping themselves mentally and physically for the tough mission ahead and have taken in Snowdon and two of the Yorkshire peaks in preparation.

But Tommy, who also had an 11-year career with St Helens, is under no illusions how tough it will be in dealing with the altitude sickness in particular, which has no respect for the fitness of the individual climbing.

“We have been told the slower the better, so will go a little bit higher than where we are camping and then come back down, simply to get used to the altitude and acclimatise.

“Altitude sickness holds no boundaries and last time they did it a couple of the seasoned international Super League players really struggled to get up to the top.

“We will have to stick together and push each other and drag each other up.”

They will also be drawing upon the words of Steve Prescott himself to keep them going.

“His big saying was ‘What the mind believes, the body achieves’ and that is what he lived by.

“Steve was an absolute phenomenon, the way he battled back against cancer.

“The challenges that Precky took on and overcame in in his life were far, far bigger than one in front of us.

“We have our own motto going around round, ‘If you feel like quitting, think of why you started’.

“There will be occasions where we will be feeling down and we will have to think back to why we started. What we are about to do is nothing compared to what Steve went through. This is what we have to be thinking from Wednesday,” Tommy said.