Chelsea Football Club is supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal at today’s match, as we mark Remembrance Day on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
The Armistice was signed in Paris at 11am on 11 November 1918, officially ending hostilities between the Allies and Germany. That date has since become Armistice Day, the time chosen to honour those who gave their lives.
In the build up to the centenary, we took part in the For Club and Country campaign organised by the Football Association, Premier League and Football League in partnership with the Woodland Trust and National Football Museum.
For that our captain Gary Cahill and club ambassador Katie Chapman planted seven trees at our Cobham training ground to serve as a living legacy to those who had played for Chelsea and who served and died during World War One – Robert Atherton, George Kennedy,George Lake, Philip Smith, Robert Whiting, Arthur Wileman and Norman Wood.
Ahead of today’s game, volunteers from the British Legion will be outside Stamford Bridge collecting donations before watching the fixture as our guests.
They will be joined in the stands by serving members of the Armed Forces, who will be greeting the players on arrival at the stadium and placing a Remembrance banner and a display of the words ‘Chelsea Remembers’ on the pitch before the game. That is on top of the 50 seats given to Tickets for Troops at every home match.
Our players will once again wear shirts embroidered with a poppy, which will then be signed and donated to the Legion for auction after the game at premierleague.com/poppy, alongside the special Football Remembers coin used by the referee and captains for the toss.
Connor Lockett, aged 17, whose father Sergeant Michael Lockett MC died in Afghanistan, will be our guest in the Directors’ Box for the 10th year in a row, along with his mother Natalie.
The Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity, providing care and support for all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families.
The Legion has long been associated with the First World War, providing support for its veterans and taking the poppy symbol from the flower which grew on the battlefields of Ypres, scene of some of the fiercest fighting, and immortalised in the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’.
Fans can help the appeal by donating money to the servicemen and women collecting around Stamford Bridge, with the club also donating half of the proceeds from today’s Chelsea Foundation 50/50 Draw to the Royal British Legion.