Support for Poppy Appeal

West Ham United are fully behind the 2009 Poppy Appeal with Tony Gale and Tony Cottee taking part in an event at the Boleyn Ground.

Under the slogan, 'For their sake, wear a poppy', the pair helped launch the local East Ham branch's appeal, in advance of the national launch on Thursday.

"Everyone at the club believes it's very important to honour and support those who have given up so much in the service of their country. It's especially important in this part of London, which went through so much during World War II," Cottee said.

"Our thoughts are also with those who are currently serving - the Afghan generation," Gale added. "We owe them a huge debt, we are 100 per cent behind them and hope that the people of East Ham get behind them too by supporting this year's Poppy Appeal and wearing their poppies with pride."

The Poppy Appeal will seek to equal last year's record total of £31m - an impressive £30,000 of which was raised in East Ham alone.

"Despite the current economic hardships, we trust the people of East Ham will show their sympathy and support for those who have sacrificed on behalf of their country," Ken Hill, the branch secretary said.

West Ham United will further show support for the nation's Armed Forces past and present on Remembrance Sunday. The club will host the unveiling of a memorial plaque to the 13th (Service) Battalion of the Essex Regiment (West Ham), local volunteers who were officially known as 'The Hammers', who served in World War I. West Ham United have agreed to site the plaque near the front entrance of the Boleyn Ground.

Tony Cottee and Tony Gale, Poppy Appeal