West Ham United honoured those who bravely laid down their lives for us with a series of poignant Remembrance activities around Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Liverpool.
Hammers legend Sir Trevor Brooking set the scene ten minutes before kick off with an emotional reading of the John McCrae poem In Flanders Fields, after a stunning performance from the Royal Air Force Air Cadets Band.
West Ham and Liverpool stars then entered the field of play through a guard of honour formed by members of the Royal British Legion and servicemen from the G Company 7 RIFLES, for which Mark Noble had delivered the tickets to their base week before.
The Hammers skipper visited the West Ham Army Reserve Centre - close to where he grew up in Canning Town – where he was given a tour of the barracks and shown a display of the weaponry, equipment and supplies carried by Servicemen during tours of duty.
Five minutes before kick-off wreaths were then laid in the centre circle by Joint-Chairman David Gold, Liverpool CEO Peter Moore, Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and Blesma veteran and West Ham fan Matt Woollard, who had his lower right leg amputated after being injured while serving in Afghanistan 10 years ago.
This was followed by a bugler playing the Last Post, before an impeccably observed minute’s silence was complimented by supporters in the East Stand creating an awe-inspiring Remembrance mosaic in memory of the servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives in battle.
An original Spitfire was also on display outside London Stadium, around which donations were gratefully received by the Royal British Legion poppy sellers ahead of the game.
“This is a very important time of year to pay tribute to our brave armed forces and remember those who gave their lives for us,” said Joint-Chairman David Gold.
“At West Ham United we know the importance of Remembrance to our supporters, and we thank them all for playing their part in such a fitting and poignant array of tributes.
“It was a personal honour to lay a wreath as part of the ceremony, next to representatives from Newham, Liverpool FC and limbless veterans charity Blesma, and I also want to commend Sir Trevor on a moving reading of In Flanders Fields.
“My special thanks also goes to all those who helped the East Stand transform into an incredible tribute to those who have lost their lives, and helped West Ham United pay a true mark of respect.”