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Football Remembers

12 May 2014

National commemoration to mark centenary of the Christmas Truce

The Premier League, Football League and FA have joined forces with the British Council to create Football Remembers, a huge national commemoration supported by the Duke of Cambridge, that will mark this year’s centenary of the Christmas Truce – one of the most iconic moments of the First World War. Every team in the Premier League and Football League as well as all 24 England sides will mark the centenary, right through to the grassroots - with every FA-registered club, County FA and UK primary and secondary school being asked to join in a series of activities between now and December 2014. Any football team in the UK and around the world will be welcome to participate.

It includes resources to help children learn about the Truce – including eye-witness accounts, photos, drawings and letters from soldiers some of which have never been published before.

The first two of these activities has just been launched with the aim of engaging a new generation of young people about what took place on Christmas Day in Flanders in 1914. The four partners have launched a 'Football Remembers' education pack that will be sent to more than 30,000 schools across the UK through the British Council.

The pack includes perspectives from British, French, Belgian, German and Indian witnesses and is accompanied by specially written activities for English, modern foreign languages, drama, art, sport, history, moral education and conflict resolution. Pupils are encouraged to consider the significance of the Christmas Truce today.

The Duke of Cambridge – President of The FA – is backing another unique Football Remembers project. Schools and Football Academies are being asked to design a memorial to the football played during the Truce. The permanent memorial will be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The winning design will be chosen by the Duke and Arsenal and England forward Theo Walcott. The memorial will be formally unveiled in December.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge said: "
The British Council, together with The FA, Premier League and Football League, have put together a tremendous resource for use in the classroom and at home. It promises to be a powerful way to engage and educate young people about such an important moment in our history. 

"We all grew up with the story of soldiers from both sides putting down their arms on Christmas Day, and it remains wholly relevant today as a message of hope over adversity, even in the bleakest of times."

The British Council’s Chief Executive, Sir Martin Davidson, added: "For a brief moment in history, the Christmas Truce showed how people-to-people connections can triumph at a time of global crisis. This year's centenary is a valuable opportunity for a new generation to learn about that historic moment and the First World War more widely – the consequences of which continue to shape the world today, and the way in which people overseas view the UK. We want every school in the country to get involved."

Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of the Football League, said: "The forthcoming centenary gives us the opportunity to mark the extraordinary sacrifice made by millions of people of all nationalities during the Great War.  They include many people that were connected with our clubs and competition from players and administrators to referees and supporters.

"We are delighted to be part of this initiative as football can play an important role in ensuring that their memory and the lessons learned from this conflict are never forgotten.”

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