SUPPORTERS visiting The Hawthorns on Saturday are being urged to join Albion’s players in wearing poppies with pride in support of the Armed Forces families – the focus of Poppy Appeal 2013.
The Club will be promoting, and raising money for, the work of the Royal British Legion at the sold-out Crystal Palace game, which is the closest home fixture to Remembrance Day (November 11).
The match shirts worn by the Baggies’ 18-man squad against the Eagles – and at Chelsea the following Saturday – will feature the Legion’s poppy emblem and will be auctioned off right here at wba.co.uk
, with all proceeds going to the Poppy Appeal.
This Saturday, members of the Blackheath Sea Cadets and Old Hill Army Cadets will hold a bucket collection around the stadium before heading inside to line-up in a guard of honour for when the teams emerge from the tunnel. A minute’s silence will also be held just before kick-off.
Albion’s head coach, Steve Clarke, said: “The Club has been a big supporter of the Poppy Appeal for several years and rightly so, because it is an extremely important cause.
“We are grateful and humbled by the bravery and dedication shown by past and present members of the British Armed Forces and, of course, by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“This year’s Appeal is geared towards helping the immediate support network of our Servicemen and women – their families – and we hope the shirt auctions raise as much money as possible.”
Every donation received for a poppy will help the Legion in their quest to beat last year’s Midlands total of £4.8million.
Gurdev Bal is the Legion’s Poppy Appeal organiser for the Birmingham area and he attended a photocall at the club’s training ground today with sons Japraj and Aran (pictured above).
“We are grateful for the support West Bromwich Albion are once again giving the Poppy Appeal,” said Gurdev who, like his sons, is a Birmingham Road End season-ticket holder.
“The club’s supporters have given generously in years gone by, especially when bidding for the match-worn poppy shirts. Their donations really do make a difference.”
All monies raised will go towards the Legion’s national target of £37million to continue its vital work delivering direct, practical care and support to the Armed Forces community.
The Legion’s Director of Fundraising, Charles Byrne, said: “We support the entire Armed Forces community past and present, but families are at the heart of the Poppy Appeal 2013.
“We recognise the strength of mothers, fathers, partners and children in Armed Forces families, who serve alongside their loved ones every single day, and often need practical care and advice, too.
“We’re encouraging people to dig deep for the Poppy Appeal so we can continue providing this vital support to individuals, whether they’re still serving, transitioning back to civilian life or have left the Services, but importantly to their dependents too.”
The Legion provides wide-ranging and practical support to Armed Forces families in need, including crisis grants, family breaks, benefits and money advice. Sadly, this sometimes includes inquest advice.
Every poppy helps raise the £1.6million needed by the Legion each week to deliver practical help and advice to the Armed Forces community.
For further details about the Poppy Appeal, or to make a donation, visit: www.poppy.org.uk
As part of Albion’s ongoing support for the Armed Forces, the club also donate tickets for home games via the ‘Tickets for Troops’ initiative.