England teams commemorate Armistice Day at SGP

Tuesday 11 Nov 2014
England squads observed a two-minute silence at St. George's Park

The England team led The FA’s Armistice Day commemorations at St. George’s Park on Tuesday.

This year’s remembrance period has extra significance. It is 100 years since the start of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the Second World War D-Day landings.

At 11am the men’s senior, along with the Under-21s, U20s, U19s and Blind squads observed a two-minute silence on the elite pitch at the national football centre.

England commemorates Armistice Day

The players and coaching staff, including Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate, were joined by members of the Armed Forces as wreaths were laid in the centre-circle. 

The military personnel, representing all three services, were from RAF Shawbury and the Defence Helicopter Flying School in Shropshire.

Wembley Stadium is also to fell silent at 11am, with staff and visitors at the national stadium pausing to remember. 

The digital screens at the front of the stadium will display a poppy all day, while the Wembley arch will be lit red as a mark of respect from dusk.

Armistice Day

Rooney and Hodgson carry wreaths onto the pitch at SGP

Wing Commander Neil Hope MBE said: “I am really pleased that RAF Shawbury and the Defence Helicopter Flying School were able to assist The Football Association and the England squads in remembering the fallen.

"It is important to remember those from the football family who, along with so many others, gave their lives during the Great War. We were proud to be able to stand together in Remembrance.”

In the afternoon, Hodgson and Southgate pay a special visit to the National Memorial Arboretum near St. George’s Park. 

The coaches made the trip with players Theo Walcott, Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond to lay wreaths at the Armed Forces Memorial, which pays tribute to the thousands who have died in conflict or acts of terrorism since 1945.

At the Arboretum, work is continuing on a memorial being built to honour the Christmas Truce of 1914. 

FA President HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Arsenal and England player Theo Walcott judged a schools design competition and chose Spencer Turner, 10, from Newcastle as the winner.

The Christmas Truce memorial is part of a wider Football Remembers project involving The FA, the Premier League, the Football League and the British Council.

National Memorial Arboretum

Hodgson, Southgate and the players lay wreaths at the Arboretum

Football Remembers will engage football fans and players at every level about what took place on Christmas Day 100 years ago on the battlefields of the Western Front.

On 25 December 1914, soldiers from both sides put down their weapons and crossed into ‘no man’s land’ to share in an impromptu ceasefire. First-hand accounts from battlefields recall football being played and photographs taken.

In commemoration, all professional and grassroots matches taking place from 6-14 December will see all players involved posing together in a mixed group photograph as a mark of respect to those on both sides that took part in the 1914 Christmas Truce.

Clubs and schools will be asked to upload their pre-match pictures via social media during Football Remembers Week. 

National Memorial Arboretum

Theo Walcott looks at the names of those who have died in conflict

All photos uploaded using #footballremembers will be automatically uploaded to a special website – footballremembers.com. The site shall act as a permanent record of football’s commemorations in 2014 and preserved for future generations.

Speaking of the Christmas Truce commemoration, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of The FA, said: “It promises to be a powerful way to engage and educate young people about such an important moment in our history. 

"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.”

By FA Staff