REMEMBRANCE AT CHELSEA

Posted on: Sun 11 Nov 2012

Chelsea Football Club marks Remembrance Sunday by supporting the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal at today's match.

The Royal British Legion raises money to support serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Both Chelsea and Liverpool players will form a guard of honour for members of the Armed Forces and Chelsea pensioners ahead of kick-off and will wear shirts embroidered with poppies in support of the Royal British Legion.

Each of the four services will be represented on the pitch by Warrant Officer Tony Matthews (Navy), Private Robert Dark (Army), Captain Adam Lee (Marines) and Senior Aircraftwoman Charlotte Citrine (RAF), who will also be joined by Chelsea Pensioners from the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

A minute's silence will also be held just prior to the start of the game.

Fans can help the appeal by donating money to the service men and women collecting around Stamford Bridge. The club will be also auctioning the players' poppy-embroidered shirts, which will be signed personally, on eBay with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

To make a bid for the players' shirts visit: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/chelseafoundation

Connor Lockett, aged 11 years whose father Sergeant Michael Lockett MC died in Afghanistan in 2009, will be a guest in the Directors' Box for the fourth year in a row. John Farmer, the national chairman of the Royal British Legion is also a guest of the club today.

A number of former and current service personnel will be at the game as the club has donated 50 tickets to the Royal British Legion as well as the 50 tickets we donate to Tickets for Troops for every home game.

Nine servicemen and women joined the squad at Cobham on Friday having been invited to the training ground as part of our commitment to the Poppy Appeal.

The group watched training and met the players during their visit, which was a particular highlight for naval pair and Chelsea fans WL1 Matthews AB1 Rawlings, who explained their involvement in the day.

'We're part of HMS President, part of the London division of the Royal Navy Reserve,' said WL1 Matthews. 'We do a lot of collecting for the Poppy Appeal, and were involved in London Poppy Day, so when we saw the opportunity to come to Chelsea, both being Chelsea fans we jumped at it.

'We've met all the players after training and had our photographs taken. My children are Chelsea supporters and are jealous like you wouldn't believe.

'It's a great morale boost for the troops and the sailors to meet the players. The club have always been very welcoming to service people.'

AB1 Rawlings added: 'This is our first visit to Cobham, and it's unbelievable. The amount of investment they've put into this place is unreal, and it's great to see it first-hand.

'I used to come to Stamford Bridge all the time but work commitments mean I haven't been able to come as much recently.'

They can, however, keep up to date with the Blues from afar, as WL1 Matthews explained. 'It's really important that in the theatre of operations, all the ships have Sky Sports subscriptions, and you keep well up to date by using the website as well,' he said.

WL1 Matthews will be at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to lead the team out, and recently had the honour of carrying the Champions League trophy around the Bridge prior to our game against Juventus in September.

'Chelsea have a legacy with the pensioners anyway and are a great supporter of the armed forces. The reception we get is always incredible,' he said.

'I am leading the teams out on Sunday, and carried the Champions League trophy recently, which was one of the best days of my life! I never thought that would happen - it was just an amazing experience.'

The Poppy Appeal provides a powerful voice for the Armed Forces community, campaigning to ensure that no one is disadvantaged as a result of service, as well as raising more than £90 million each year.