A group of Scottish footballers - including Homeless World Cup players – have been taken to Belgium by one of the Falkirk Football Foundation’s coaches.
It’s all in the name of commermorating the ‘Christmas Truce’ football match played exactly a century ago today (Thursday, December 25).
The players, led by Paul Goodwin of the Foundation and formerly involved in Supporters Direct Scotland, will play in a unique football tournament.
The competition will also include teams from Germany, Belgium, France, England, Wales, Ireland FA and an Irish Embassy team.
They will play on the historic field in Messines.
Paul Goodwin, co-ordinator of the Scotland team said: “Even though the horror of the war took place one hundred years ago no-one has forgotten the sacrifices made by millions.
“The Christmas Truce football match is well known across the world as a symbol of peace and we applaud The RBFA for creating a tournament that pays respect to those who lost their lives during the First World War.
“As well as playing football on the historic fields in Belgium the players will commemorate the legacy and memory of those who fell during the war by visiting relevant locations including the Menin Gate in Ypres.”
The three-day commemoration event will also include visits and participation in a Last Post ceremony under the Menin Gate. As history widely shows, during Christmas Day in 1914 soldiers from England, Germany, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland laid down their arms, distributed gifts and played football at various sites along the frontline in no man’s land prompting a little timeout from a global conflict.
The journey from Scotland would have taken between six and eight days at the time, it’s now possible within six hours from Scotland.
François De Keersmaecker, President of the RBFA said: “Now, almost 100 years after the Christmas Truce football match the RBFA wants to commemorate it with a football competition in which supporters play a key role.
“ Involving the supporters allows us to stay true to the reality of the time and sends out a powerful message as eight different countries together for the centenary commemoration of the Christmas Truce.”