The English Football Association is playing its part in events starting this weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Christmas truce football matches of December 2014.
Article top media content
The English Football Association (FA) is playing its part in a special programme of events from this weekend to mark the 100th anniversary of the Christmas truce football matches played in no-man's-land between soldiers of all sides in December 1914.
From the elite to the grassroots, English football will participate in the week of activity, starting on Friday. Every team involved in games in the Premier League, the second-tier Championship, the FA Cup second round and competitions down the football pyramid in England – including local leagues – will take part in a special mixed team photo before each kick-off, thereby capturing the spirit of the Christmas truce, when soldiers came together to take photos and where football helped to provide an extraordinary moment of peace and fraternity.
Every club is being asked to upload their photo to social media using #FootballRemembers. This will mean the images can appear on www.footballremembers.com – a special new website that will record for history how English football remembered the Christmas truce 100 years on.
Schools and workplaces in the United Kingdom, along with British military bases and embassies around the world, will also unite over the next ten days for their own mixed team photos. All taken together, these will ensure a permanent reminder for future generations of how football sought to preserve such a powerful message of hope and humanity.
This month is the climax of the year's Football Remembers campaign, where the FA has been working alongside the British Council, the English Football League and the English Premier League, uniting the football family to pay its respects to mark the special centenary.
FA president, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and Arsenal FC and England forward Theo Walcott have also judged a competition open to more than 30,000 schools across the UK to design a memorial to the Christmas truce, to be placed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire – close to the FA national football centre, St George's Park.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge will attend a dedication ceremony for the monument next Friday. The Duke will meet the young designer, 10-year-old Spencer Turner from Newcastle, at the dedication event at the arboretum, which is the nation's centre of remembrance. The new memorial has been funded by the Football Remembers partners. FA chairman Greg Dyke and England manager Roy Hodgson will also be present at the ceremony, together with representatives from the Premier League, Football League and British Council.
On 17 December, the British Army will play against the German Army in a special match at Aldershot, bringing together serving soldiers from both countries almost exactly 100 years on from the original Christmas truce.