Military tribute planned for Sunderland vs Southend match at Stadium of Light in support of Remembrance Commemorations
Sunderland AFC will continue its long-standing support for the armed forces and associated charities at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Serving military personnel, veterans’ groups and families of those who have lost their lives in the service of their country, will all attend the Black Cats game against Southend United on Saturday – the club’s final home league game before Remembrance Sunday.
It will be the fifteenth consecutive year in which military personnel have joined Sunderland AFC and its fans to support the country’s annual Remembrance Commemorations.
Staff Sergeant Chris Gee from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Yorkshire Gunners) will begin the tribute by laying a poppy wreath at the club’s war memorial, ahead of the game.
Approximately 20 minutes prior to kick off, soldiers from the Royal Signals will undertake a parade around the pitch and form a guard of honour as both teams take to the field.
Sgt Gee will then lay a poppy wreath in the centre-circle, the Last Post will sound and a traditional period of silence will be observed by players, staff and supporters just prior to kick off.
The team will wear special one-off match shirts bearing the traditional poppy emblem, which will be auctioned after the game to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
Staff Sergeant Gee said: “Sunderland’s backing for the military and armed forces charities continues to be simply amazing. It is a huge honour for myself and the other members of the regiment to be playing our part in helping the club and the fans to support the Remembrance Commemorations.”
Ger Fowler from Veterans in Crisis – Sunderland said: “VICS would like to thank Sunderland AFC for its great work with the city’s veterans. This means the world to us.”
Sunderland AFC’s chairman, Stewart Donald, said: “Saturday’s match is our opportunity as a club to show support and appreciation to the Armed Forces personnel and their families for the great sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, in the service of their country.
“It is a huge privilege for us to welcome members of the Armed Forces, their families and veterans’ groups as we pay our respects.”