(Photos by Nick Taylor/LFC)

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is an official Guinness World Records™ holder for the longest lanyard! On 17 March 2023, the 3,784.50m (12,416ft) Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard was confirmed as the new title holder, as it was stretched around the famous Kop end of Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium. Each metre is indicative of one of the 867 hidden disabilities, conditions or chronic illnesses or of one of 2917 submissions that were made to the campaign. Thank you to everyone who took part! Click here to view the list.

The super-long lanyard was created to show the wide range of invisible disabilities that impact people’s lives. The previous record of 2,871m (9,419.29ft), held by the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association, was broken after 22 years. 

Taking the average height of a Brit to be 5ft6in and the usual lanyard length to be 90cm, it would take someone 5,950m (19,520ft) tall to wear the Sunflower Lanyard to scale. It would wrap around the pitch at Anfield more than 10 times and the lanyard is 12 times the height of The Shard, the UK’s tallest building.

TV personality and Liverpool FC supporter, Christine McGuinness said:

“My three children are autistic and all use the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard. It's a brilliant way to show we need a little extra help when travelling or when we're out and about. The lanyards make us feel more confident that we will receive support. There are ten million of us out there in the UK with a hidden disability, so the Sunflower lanyard makes a big difference. The more people who know that it symbolises the wearer has a hidden disability or health condition, the better."

Originating at London Gatwick Airport in 2016, the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard enabled people with hidden disabilities to discreetly show they might need extra support, understanding or time while travelling.

The green ribbons with a sunflower print proved such a huge success with passengers, that other organisations asked if they could use them. The lanyards are now the globally recognised symbol for invisible disability and are used in a wide range of sectors around the world, including sport, education, retail, financial services, leisure, travel, healthcare, theatres and charities.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Chief Executive, Paul White, said:

“We are delighted to have broken the Guinness World Records™ title. We created the longest lanyard to bring attention to the fact there are more than 800 hidden disabilities and health conditions that someone would consider using the Sunflower for.

“Sunflower Lanyards give people who live with these conditions the confidence to go out and live life. We know the lanyards are making a difference to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

“We want the public to understand that Sunflower Lanyard wearers might just need a bit of extra help, time, understanding or support, and for them to have the confidence to ask someone wearing the Sunflower: ‘Do you need any assistance?’.

“Liverpool Football Club was one of the first sports organisations we worked with and has been exemplary in the rollout of lanyards for staff and supporters, as well as offering training to staff. It’s perfect that we are at Anfield to achieve the world record.

“This is a simple and effective way of making the invisible visible, and making life better.”

Rishi Jain, senior ED&I manager at Liverpool FC, said:

"We’re thrilled to be a part of this world record breaker, congratulations to all involved on achieving this and raising awareness for such an important campaign.
“We have implemented the lanyard across the club for any fans or staff who may need additional support whilst at our stadium or stores. We’re proud to work with the Hidden Disabilities team and continue to raise awareness for the Sunflower Lanyard.”

The Hidden Disabilities team was handed the certificate by Guinness World Records™ Adjudicator Glenn Pollard on March 17 at Anfield. He said:

“Guinness World Records™ titles are not easy to achieve. It takes, amongst many attributes, dedication, skill, practice and good organisation to achieve such an accolade. It does mean, however, that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary feats.

“That is why I find it so impressive for the people of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to have achieved this new record title – the longest lanyard – a record which has stood for more than 23 years. By producing this lanyard which measures 3,784m, not only have they beaten the current record they have done so by an incredible margin of 913m – an ‘Officially Amazing’ record. Congratulations to everybody involved in the record.”