Sunderland AFC will show its support for armed forces charities at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday, when hundreds of serving military personnel, veterans groups and families of those who have lost their lives in the service of their country, will attend the Black Cats game against Bolton Wanderers.
In the final game at the Stadium of Light before Remembrance Sunday, this will be the thirteenth consecutive year in which military personnel and their families have joined together with Sunderland AFC and its fans in support of the country’s annual Remembrance Commemorations.
Soldiers from the Royal Signals will undertake a parade around the pitch before the game and form a guard of honour as both teams take to the field. A traditional period of silence will be observed prior to kick off and the Sunderland squad will wear special one-off match shirts bearing the traditional poppy emblem. The shirts will be auctioned to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
SAFC will also observe a period of silence at the Middlesbrough game on Sunday 5 November.
Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter, a Sunderland season card holder, is leading the tribute on Tuesday night and will lay a poppy wreath in the centre-circle as the teams gather to observe the silence.
Speaking about the club’s support he said: “Sunderland’s backing for the military and armed forces charities such as the Royal British Legion, has been simply amazing. As a season card holder and a serving soldier of eighteen years I am proud to play my part in helping the club and the fans to support the Remembrance Commemorations.”
Sunderland AFC’s chief executive Martin Bain said: “The North East has a very proud military tradition. Tuesday night is our opportunity to show our support and appreciation, as a club, 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.
“I would also like to extend my personal thanks to Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter who is leading the tribute on Tuesday. He has carried out this role at the club for many years but sadly this is his last year with us. He is a credit to his country and has helped our club and fans respectfully mark the Remembrance Commemorations year on year.”
Sunderland AFC also has a long-standing commitment to Tickets for Troops, the organisation that provides free tickets to members of the Armed Forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events. The service offers serving personnel and those medically discharged from the forces since 2001, the opportunity to enjoy an event of their choice with their friends and families.