United and City together in Remembrance tribute

Sunday 14 November 2021 07:45

Manchester United Academy players came together with those at Manchester City to host a Remembrance Day ceremony to honour those who have lost their lives in conflicts across the world.

Two fixtures were played between the clubs on the evening of Thursday 11 November, with the Under-13s facing off at City’s training ground and the Under-12s playing each other at our Carrington base.

Remembrance ceremonies were held simultaneously at each location as the players joined together in a minute’s silence. The Last Post was played and wreaths representing the two clubs were laid at the side of the pitches. Players from both clubs read out the famous poems, In Flanders Field (by John McCrae) and Ode of Remembrance (by Laurence Binyon).

After the games concluded, captains exchanged gifts to reflect the Christmas truce of 1914.

Wreaths were laid by both clubs.

Although the finals of this year’s Truce Tournament will not be taking place in Ypres, Belgium, the Academy's education programme continues, and United and City have joined together to mark this year’s Remembrance Day as part of this.

The Under-13s took the opportunity to once again pay their respects on Saturday morning ahead of a fixture against Norwich City, specially arranged by the Premier League.

The Under-12s will continue their education in this subject by taking part in qualifying games for the Truce Tournament at St. George’s Park next week.

The finals of the education-led competition usually take place in Ypres where soldiers fought during the war.

As well as playing several fixtures against sides from Belgium, France and Germany, boys take part in education programmes, visiting trenches, cemeteries and museums, trying on soldiers’ attire and taking part in The Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate memorial.

This year’s Truce Tournament will be held in the United Kingdom and so United and City joined together to mark this year’s Remembrance Day.

United’s Under-23s side wore shirts specially embroidered with a poppy in their game last weekend whilst the Under-18s wore black poppy armbands as a mark of respect to the servicemen and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom of others.

Players have undertaken a number of education projects alongside the Truce fixture. The Under-12s have focused on World War One, studying Walter Tull, a black officer in the army and an historically important footballer. Older teams have continued to learn about World War Two and the Holocaust. 

"A truly special occasion."

Nick Cox, Head of Academy, said: "The Truce fixture was a truly special occasion for everyone associated with the Academy. The project forms a key part of our education programme and ensures that our young players understand the sacrifices that armed forces and their families have made, and continue to make every day.

"We are all really proud of the boy’s dedication to the project that culminated in a fitting tribute of Remembrance alongside Manchester City."

Shirts worn by the men’s first team in fixtures against Manchester City and Tottenham, as well as shirts worn by the women’s team against Everton, are being auctioned for charity throughout November and December with funds going to the Royal British Legion. 

You can take part in the auction at www.matchwornshirt.com/poppy.