‘It’s so important we continue to remember’ - Will Brooke, Armed Forces Spurs
Thu 11 November 2021, 11:30|Tottenham Hotspur
On Armistice Day - the day the guns fell silent marking the end of the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918 - Will Brooke, chairman of Armed Forces Spurs Official Supporters' Club, has underlined the importance of this time of year for all military servicemen and women.
As Remembrance Sunday approaches, and as clubs continue to pay their respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in armed conflict - and show support for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal - Will has explained that ‘remembrance’ remains the key word, not least with first-hand accounts of the Second World War (1939-45) now sadly dwindling by the year.
Will said: “If you can imagine, to have fought in the Second World War (1939-45), you’re probably a centurion at least now, at least in the late 90s, and that means first-hand accounts are disappearing from our communities.
“That’s why it’s so important we continue to do this and continue to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“Armed Forces Spurs is now totalling around 255 members - Army, Navy, Air Force and veterans as well now - and it’s massively important to them, not just to raise money for the Armed Forces community who have fallen on hard times, but to actually remember, which is what remembrance is all about, so, historically, we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
“We remember the sacrifices and appreciate what we have today because of what they have given. That message can never be forgotten.”
Armed Forces Spurs began life as Camp Bastion Spurs in 2012, formed at the British Army base set up in 2005 during the Afghanistan conflict. From those roots, it has grown and evolved to encompass all UK service personnel worldwide. They are proud to support the Club in a ceremonial capacity on Remembrance Sundays and when we pay our respects annually on our closest home match to Remembrance Sunday, this time around, against Manchester United on 30 October.
Will explained: “It all started at Camp Bastion, a tiny base in Afghanistan, then it grew to Afghan Spurs, taking in bases in Kabul, then, my predecessor Tom Cousins came back, I took over and we grew it to Armed Forces Spurs.
“Now we have people all over the world, all serving British military in Germany, Cyprus, America, Brunei, all supporting Spurs remotely where they can, but we also get fans from Germany coming over every week, and we link everyone together.
“We’re a bit of a dispersant bunch, scattered all over the place, so when we have our parades, for example, I’m gathering Army, Navy, Air Force and veterans together for the first time, some of whom have never met each other, and we have to get that immaculate practice drill spot on.
“We’ve grown and the more we grow, the more we have opportunities to raise money and awareness of Armed Forces projects. Fund raising is key, giving back to the community.
“A little while ago we helped clean war memorials in Wood Green, Christian Eriksen was still with the Club at the time and came along to help. We recently sent a bunch of Armed Forces personnel in uniform to help out at Tottenham Community Centre for a food bank project, and from that, such great community engagement, because people see us there as Armed Forces Spurs, so we’re not just promoting the good message of the Club, but we’re also there as the Armed Forces giving something back to the community, which has always been so supportive of us.”