West Ham United marked Remembrance Day and commemorated the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a host of special events at today's game.
Soldiers from G Company 7 Rifles, based at the Army Reserve Centre in West Ham, will form a guard of honour surrounding the Boleyn Ground pitch before representatives from the Royal British Legion (East Ham Branch) are presented to the crowd.
A wreath-laying ceremony will then take place in the centre circle led by Joint-Chairman David Gold, Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox. This will be followed by a minute's silence that will begin and end on the sound of the referee's whistle.
West Ham's players will join those from their 19 fellow Barclays Premier League clubs by wearing shirts emblazoned with the special 'Football Remembers' poppy.
Prior to kick-off, representatives Diane Hannan and Bill Daly from bus operators Stagecoach (London) will also present a cheque for in excess of £5,000 to Ken Hill, secretary of the Royal British Legion (East Ham Branch). The funds were raised by the sale of a special badge designed by a member of staff at Plumstead Garage, which was then distributed and sold through the nine garages that form Stagecoach (London).
The company provided the 'B' bus purchased by the War Office in 1914 and used in France and Belgium throughout the Great War as a troop carrier. The bus has recently been returned to its wartime livery and is taking part in Remembrance ceremonies in Britain, France and Belgium.
Every year, the Hammers support the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal by wearing match shirts with the official Poppy on them. For Remembrance Day 2014, the Royal British Legion has approved a one-off Poppy with the citation '1914-2014 Football Remembers'.
The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading Service charity providing care and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families. Fans can donate to the Poppy Appeal in a variety of ways:
• By phone on 0845 845 1945
• By mobile. To donate £3, text POPPY to 70020* (*Cost £3 plus standard network charges - typically £2.97 goes to the Poppy Appeal). To donate £10, text POPPY to 70111* (*Cost £10 plus standard network charges - typically £9.92 goes to the Poppy Appeal).
• By post to The Royal British Legion, FREEPOST SN1457, Melksham SN12 7BR.
Further, to mark the 100th anniversary of the famous Christmas Truce matches played between British and German soliders in December 1914, band The Farm have released a new version of their single All Together Now, with two U12 players from English and German clubs serving as the backing choir.
West Ham youngsters Thomas Salter and Kallum Cesay joined their counterparts from 18 Premier League and eleven German clubs to take part in the recording of the single. After recording at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios, the players were invited to train at the Liverpool and Everton Academies, meeting Toffees manager Roberto Martinez.
Proceeds from the sales of the single, which was originally released in 1991 and will be released in its new form on 15 December, will go to the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust, who are building a national education centre and heritage park in Kent to tell the story of the social impact that military life has on servicemen and women, their families and their communities.
The two young Hammers singers will join their U12 teammates at the Christmas Truce Qualifying Tournament in Ypres, Belgium on 14-16 November. U12 sides from every Premier League club are heading to Ypres for a weekend of competitive football and education. The event also acts as the official opening of the 3G pitch that the Premier League is donating to the city of Ypres.