Sunderland AFC pays tribute to veterans and military heroes with special remembrance game at Stadium of Light
The Black Cats have paid tribute to military heroes with a special remembrance game.
Serving military personnel, veterans’ groups and families of those who have lost their lives in the service of their country attended the Sunderland AFC game against Southend United on Saturday, November 2.
This was the 15th consecutive year in which military personnel have joined Sunderland AFC and fans in the final league game before Remembrance Sunday.
Staff Sergeant Chris Gee from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Yorkshire Gunners) began the tribute as he laid a poppy wreath at the club’s war memorial ahead of the game.
Soldiers from the Royal Signals took part in a parade around the pitch and formed a guard of honour as both teams took to the field.
A moment of silence was then observed by the players, supporters and staff as Sgt Gee laid a poppy wreath in the centre-circle to the sound of the Last Post.
The players also wore one-off shirts bearing the traditional poppy emblem, which were due to be auctioned after the game to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
Sgt Gee commented: “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.”
The club is also supporting Veterans in Crisis – Sunderland (VICS), a charity dedicated to supporting Sunderland-based veterans who are facing difficult times.
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 and I am very proud that the club asked us to take part.”
Sunderland AFC’s chairman, Stewart Donald, said: “Saturday’s match was 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 was a huge privilege for us to welcome members of the Armed Forces, their families and veterans’ groups as we pay our respects.”