Foundation celebrates Truce Tournament
16 December 2013|Tottenham Hotspur
This year, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Premier League have honoured a precious piece of footballing history.
The Christmas Truce Tournament in 1914 saw soldiers from opposing sides of the World War One battlefield lay down their weapons, exchange gifts and play an impromptu game of football.
In 2013 this spirit of respect, sharing and coming together over the game was equally as apparent as teams from across England, France, Germany and Belgium came together to remember those who fought and died for their country in The Great War.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation invited ten students from Nightingale Academy, Edmonton, to represent the Club at the Under-15 Community Tournament in Ypres, Belgium. Whilst the trip was an opportunity for the students to compete on an international level, the visit to Ypres was about much more than what happened on the pitch.
Alex White, Community Development Manager for Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “The Christmas Truce Tournament is an opportunity to bring education to life through the medium of football, allowing students to develop a greater understanding of cultural histories and identities. The boys from Nightingale Academy were fantastic ambassadors for their school, for the Club and for their country and can take pride from the attitude they showed on and off the field."
Fourteen former Spurs players lost their lives during the First World War and the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate was a time for the Nightingale students to pause and reflect on the great sacrifice these men made.
Students Kofi and Mo paid tribute to the former players by laying a Spurs Poppy Shirt, with “Remember 14” emblazoned on the reverse, at the memorial.
Team captain Omar laid a wreath to honour all those who lost their lives in the First World War in a ceremony led by Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC. Sergeant Beharry was awarded the Victoria Cross in March 2005, the highest award for military valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, for twice saving members of his unit from an ambush in Iraq. He is one of only nine living recipients of the Victoria Cross.
Over the course of the weekend the Premier League also announced their commitment to building a floodlit, third-generation football pitch at Ypres. The artificial pitch will form the focal point for the centenary commemorations of the First World War in November 2014, with all 20 Premier League clubs set to take part in the tournament.