Potters to back the Royal British Legion's 2018 Poppy Appeal...
ONE HUNDRED years ago the guns fell silent on the world’s first truly global war!
Over seven million civilians and an astonishing 10 million military personnel lost their lives as a consequence of the four-year long battle.
This year, to commemorate the end of World War 1, the Royal British Legion’s message is simply; ‘Thank You’.
‘Thank you to all those who served, sacrificed and changed our world.’
The poppy and the incredible work of the Legion have long been associated with the First and Second World Wars, and the Legion are calling upon us to once more don the symbolic poppy in support of the Armed Forces and all of those who have made and continue to make such brave and telling contributions.
Remembrance Sunday coincides with the Armistice Centenary, and a range of Football Remembers activities will take place over the weekends leading up to 11 November to mark the efforts of servicemen and women, past and present.
As ever, Stoke City Football Club will be continuing to show its backing to the annual Poppy Appeal as the charity bids to raise its grandest ever tally - £50 million.
Leading into the game this week, the bet365 Stadium will be playing host to the replica ‘Mk IV Tank’, ‘Deborah II’ - as seen on Channel 4’s documentary ‘Guy Martin’s WWI Tank’.
The famous Tank is being used as a backdrop for the Military Match Day press call on Thursday afternoon, and will be based outside the main entrance of the stadium for supporters to take in between 1pm and 3pm.
For this Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough, and next weekend’s encounter away at Nottingham Forest, the players will be adorning special-edition shirts embroidered with a poppy which will then be signed and donated to the Legion for auction.
Supporters in attendance at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon will also have an opportunity to show their appreciation for the continued work of the Armed Forces.
An interactive Military Market Place will be set-up around the South East corner of the stadium, allowing fans to mix and speak to serving members of the Armed Forces, including representation from 1st and 4th Mercian Regiment, 159 Royal Logistical Corps, Staffordshire Air Cadet Force, Royal Artillery, Royal Navy and the Royal AIR Force.
There will also be an on-site bucket collection and live music outside the stadium from the Band of the Prince Wales Regiment and the Staffordshire Cadets Corps of Drums, whilst members of the Staffordshire Air Cadets, Royal British Legion and re-enactors in Period Dress will be interacting throughout the day.
Bespoke commemorative coins from the Royal British Legion will be used for the coin toss, in line with all other fixtures taking place across the country, to pay tribute and say thank you to all those involved in the First World War.
Prior to kick-off, there will be an on screen tribute played out during a one minute silence, which will be preceded by a Bugler playing the last post.
Meanwhile during the half-time interval two local companies, Tollgate Hotel and Leisure and Positive Protection Solutions, will be signing their covenants as part of the Football Club’s commitment to being an advocate of the Armed Forces Covenant.
Head of the Club's Community Trust Adrian Hurst said: “This game allows the football Club to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 and we have a duty to remember those that who fought and gave up so much.
“I am well aware that our staff and supporters take great pride in acknowledging our support for the Armed Service’s and we look forward to showcasing another Military Match day.”
The English Football League has been supporting the Royal British Legion since 2014, and has so far raised almost half a million pounds for the charity since the partnership began.
This money will help the Legion offer support in many ways including providing crisis grants, researching the long lasting impact of blast injuries on the body, lobbying the government on issues that affect our community, sport and art based recovery programmes as well as advising on benefits and financial problems.
The Royal British Legion’s Director of Fundraising Claire Rowcliffe added: “During the Poppy Appeal 2018 and as we mark the end of the First World War centenary in this historic year, we are calling on the nation to say ‘Thank You’ to the First World War generation.
“Not only to the British Armed Forces, but those who fought alongside them from today’s Commonwealth, the countless men, women and children who played their part on the home front and the pioneers and artists who have left long lasting legacies."
“The donation for your poppy will help the Legion support today’s Armed Forces community through hardships, injury and bereavements. Generations of the Armed Forces have continued to serve and sacrifice since the First World War, and we recognise and thank them all for their unique contribution.
“This Poppy Appeal we have set our highest ever target at £50 million. The Legion’s work is entirely dependent on the public’s generous support - so please wear your poppy with pride and dig deep, knowing that you are supporting our Armed Forces community.”