The Woodland Trust And Football Remembers Join Forces To Commemorate Footballers Involved In The First World War
Newcastle United Foundation was joined by Catherine McKinnell MP and Newcastle City Councillor Kim McGuinness to plant a tree at the charity’s newly opened Lemington Football Centre, to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.
In partnership with the Woodland Trust and National Football Museum’s ‘For Club and Country project’ The Premier League, English Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Association are planting trees to create a living legacy to the footballers who served and died 100 years ago in the First World War as part of the national, Football Remembers campaign.
Players became so much more than just heroes on the football pitch. Some of the more unlikely heroes of the First World War were the footballers of the time, who bravely joined up and went off to war. As they left the hallowed turf of professional football pitches for the trenches of the front line football and families were changed forever.
Almost every team in the league today sent players to the front between 1914 and 1918 and many never returned. Those that did were never the same again. The Woodland Trust project For Club and Country also remembers the women, who single-handedly kept the national game alive during the conflict, playing in front of hundreds of thousands of supporters.
To commemorate the lives of the Newcastle United players who fell in the First World War, 12 trees have been planted. One tree was planted in the memorial garden at St. James’ Park, one at the Foundation’s new Lemington site, and the remainder split between the Club Academy and Training Ground.
England and West Ham legend, Sir Trevor Brooking, CBE said: “The Woodland Trust’s For Club and Country project is the perfect way to commemorate football’s important role in the First World War. By planting trees for players who bravely fought for their country we are creating something beautiful and long lasting for future generations.”
For Club and Country aims to plant 100 additional trees for each of the clubs that were professional when war broke out in 1914, at a newly created national woodland memorial at the Woodland Trust’s flagship Centenary Wood at Langley Vale in Epsom.
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Newcastle United Foundation is incredibly proud to have planted a tree to commemorate the lives of the Newcastle United players that lost their lives in the First World War at our new Lemington facility. To have this living legacy at our centre as part of a wider collection including St. James’ Park, the Academy and the Training Centre is really special.”
Supporters of clubs across the Premier League and English Football League are being encouraged to join their club heroes by planting trees to create a lasting living legacy across football. Supporters can find out more about their club’s history and football’s involvement in the war by visiting www.forclubandcountry.org.uk/england/
All clubs down to grass roots and community groups can be part of our First World War Centenary Woods project and plant trees to remember their members, players, friends and family involved in the conflict. Find out more about our Free Tree Pack offer on the ‘About Us’ page or at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees
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