The Duke of Cambridge and football star Theo Walcott have come together to launch Football Remembers and mark the centenary of the First World War Christmas truce.
Football Remembers is a joint project between the FA, Premier League, Football League and British Council to mark the centenary of the Christmas Truce, when soldiers from each side of the trenches laid down their weapons to play a game of football, share drinks and exchange gifts on No Man’s Land across the battlefields of the Western Front.
Some of the most iconic tales have come from this First World War event and show how football can break down the bleakest of barriers.
Prince William, President of the FA said, “The British Council, along with the FA, Premier League and Football League have put together a tremendous resource for use in the classroom and at home. We all grew up with the story of soldiers from both sides putting down their arms on Christmas Day, and it remains wholly relevant today as a message of hope over adversity, even in the bleakest of times”.
As well as lending his support to initiatives throughout the year, the Duke of Cambridge is also backing a unique Football Remembers project. The project will see schools and football academies asked to design a memorial dedicated to the football played during the truce.
The permanent memorial will be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The winner will be personally chosen by Prince William and Theo Walcott in December.
The four partners have also released a Football Remembers education pack which will be sent to more than 30,000 British schools. The pack includes resources to help children understand the event more including eyewitness accounts, photos, drawings and letters from soldiers, some of which have never been published before.
FA Chairman Greg Dyke said, “Having just seen the battlefields for myself in Northern France, I saw at first hand just how much football played a part in the First World War. The scale of the loss is unthinkable and its only right and fitting the game comes together to pay tribute to those that made the ultimate sacrifice”.
It will not just be the Duke of Cambridge marking the centenary of the First World War, the Royal Family will all be coming together to attend commemorative events both at home and abroad.
Photo Credit: Government House, New Zealand/ Woolf/ Crown