Clubs unite to pay tributeThe EFL and all 72 member clubs will unite to pay tribute to fallen servicemen, women and former players as part of Remembrance Sunday commemorations and the First World War Centenary.
Sky Bet League One and League Two clubs will honour those that lost their lives at war over the weekend of the 12-13 November, whilst the 24 Sky Bet Championship teams will pay their respects the following weekend on Saturday 19 November to mark the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme which ended 100 years earlier on 18 November 1916.
Across all of the 72 member clubs between 12-19 November, there will be a minutes silence and an EFL wreath laid on the pitch prior to kick-off to remember and honour all of those that have fallen in battle.
All 24 Sky Bet Championship teams will be wearing Poppy shirts and the matches will be played with a limited edition Poppy ball. To date, Sky Bet and EFL clubs have together raised nearly £250,000 for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal from auctioning match-worn poppy shirts.
The shirts and balls from this year’s Remembrance fixtures will be auctioned to help support the fantastic work the British Legion does by supporting members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families all year round.
In addition, Sky Bet and individual clubs will supply the British Legion with an allocation of tickets for all EFL fixtures across the three divisions between the 12-19 November, to be donated to current and retired service personnel.
EFL Communications Director, Mark Rowan said: “Every single one of our clubs lost players, staff and supporters, it is only right and appropriate that we pay a tribute. Football is all about community and the EFL’s clubs, fans and staff will all stand in silence together to pay our respects this November.”
Sky Bet spokesman Sandro Di Michele added: “We’re delighted to be continuing our relationship with the Royal British Legion into a third season after raising a terrific amount of money last year. The generosity shown by fans of Championship clubs was truly remarkable and we hope this year’s campaign will be no different.”
Fought over 141 days between 1 July and 18 November 1916, the Battle of the Somme was one of the defining battles of the First World War. With over 400,000 British casualties and over 1 million men of all nationalities killed, the Somme remains one of the most brutal individual battles ever fought.
One hundred years on, the Battle of the Somme is being remembered across the country as part of the official First World War Centenary commemorations of which the EFL is proud to play its part by marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme’s end on 19 November.
Having launched the #FootballRemembers campaign in March 2014 at the start of the First World War Centenary to mark the contribution made by the game, football continues to pay its respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice 100 years ago.
Sadly, many players, staff and fans of EFL clubs were killed at the Somme, 1,000 whom fought for the Footballers Batallions which included many of the great stars of the day and some of those who would go on to achieve great footballing feats in the post-war era.
In recent weeks, EFL clubs and the communities in which they are embedded have been paying tribute to those who lost their lives. A full Sky Bet Championship fixture list will take place 24 hours after the 100 year anniversary of the final day of the Battle of Somme, giving clubs the opportunity to pay their respects to their fallen players and supporters.
Carlisle United invited veterans and serving soldiers from King's Own Royal Border Regiment and the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment onto the pitch on Saturday where they acted as a Guard of Honour as part of their Regimental Day celebrations. The soldiers also helped the club to launch its Poppy Appeal 2016.
This activity will support the British Legion’s national campaign, Sport Remembers the Somme, to commemorate the role played by sporting men and women for the centennial year.