Few videogames are as deep and as all-consuming as Football Manager, the phenomenally popular virtual soccer boss simulator series – but one player has taken that his love of the game to record breaking levels.
Darren Bland has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the title holder for the Longest single game of Football Manager after bossing Italian Serie A side Fiorentina for an incredible 154 seasons.
The epic game saw Darren secure legendary status after winning the league a jaw-dropping 151 times and earn a place in the new Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition. 
By the time the game had finished, the in-game year was 2163 which would have made Darren’s virtual manager an ancient 185 years old. The feat saw Darren clock up a staggering 173 days 16 hours 51 minutes of real world gametime.
His game only ended when he accidentally spilled liquid on his laptop. 
In the exclusive ‘Meet the Record Breakers’ video below, Darren describes his ‘not obsessed, but highly dedicated’ motivation to play. 
His tactics to ‘buy em cheap and sell em high’ were successful. With no inflation in Football Manager 2010, the most money that Darren paid for a footballer in his game was £105 million for randomly generated player Luis Tejedor on 1 July 2040. 
Darren even offered his expertise to his beloved Liverpool Football Club, applying for the team’s real Football Manager vacancy. Sadly, they declined his offer. 
Darren’s epic game began after he moved home to care for his mother, with the dedicated player using his new free time to pursue Football Manager in earnest. 
Treating it like a full time job the planning, tactics and pleasure of watching the players kick off the match provided relief during a difficult family time. 
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Darren’s record appears in the new Guinness World Records 2017 Gamer's Edition which is in stores now.