West Bromwich Albion supporters are being urged to join players in wearing poppies with pride.
The club will be promoting, and raising money for, the work of the Royal British Legion at the sold-out Crystal Palace game at The Hawthorns tomorrow, which is the closest home fixture to Remembrance Day.
The match shirts worn by the Baggies’ 18-man squad against the Eagles – and at Chelsea the following Saturday – will feature the Legion’s poppy emblem and will be auctioned off on the club’s website with all proceeds going to the Poppy Appeal.
Tomorrow, members of the Blackheath Sea Cadets and Old Hill Army Cadets will hold a bucket collection outside the stadium before heading inside to line up in a guard of honour for when the teams emerge from the tunnel. A minute’s silence will be held just before kick-off.
Albion’s head coach Steve Clarke said: “The club has been a big supporter of the Poppy Appeal for several years and rightly so, because it is an extremely important cause. We are grateful and humbled by the bravery and dedication shown by past and present members of the British armed forces and, of course, by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Gurdev Bal, the Poppy Appeal organiser for the Birmingham area, said: “We are grateful for the support West Bromwich Albion are once again giving the Poppy Appeal.”
Gurdev, who, like his sons, is a Birmingham Road End season-ticket holder, added: “The club’s supporters have given generously in years gone by, especially when bidding for the match-worn poppy shirts. Their donations really do make a difference.”
Proceeds will go towards the Legion’s national target of £37million to help its work delivering direct, practical care and support to the armed forces community.