The concept of the event originates from World War 1 when soldiers from both sides of the conflict came out of the trenches and gathered in no mans land where amongst activities football matches were played.
The qualifying rounds are played on Remembrance Weekend hosted by the three services. The Army FA hosted in Aldershot, Royal Navy (Portsmouth) and RAF (Cosford).
At the Army FA event in Aldershot all teams and spectators were welcomed by our Army Under 23 Development Head Coach SSgt Gerwyn Griffiths (RE). In a particularly moving ceremony An Ode to Remembrance followed by the poem “In Flanders Field” was read by two players before The Last Post, a minute’s silence followed by Reveille.
A further poem “The Game: Christmas Day 1914” written by Ian McMillan was read with the words further provided by players from the respective teams. A player from each team then read aloud names of those who represented their clubs who were killed in conflict before laying a wreath around the pitch perimeter.
A busy day of football commenced with 10 teams in competition. Group A consisted of Manchester City, Arsenal, Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City. Group B included Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City, Watford, West Ham United and Manchester United.
Although not a good days for their first team SSgt Griffiths provided the winning trophy and medals to Manchester City who defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in the final. They will now represent the FA Premier League in Ypres in Belgium over the weekend of 8th/9th December where they will be joined by the winners of the other UK based tournaments and teams from Belgium, France and Germany.