Marking Remembrance Day has always been a proud tradition of English football, and Sunderland, James McClean aside, always tend to hit a tone we can be proud of. This year will hopefully be no different, and the club have advised fans on what they can expect this weekend against Everton.
Sunderland AFC will show its support for the national Remembrance Day commemorations this weekend.
The Black Cats take on Everton at the Stadium of Light on Remembrance Sunday (November 09) and the club will be joined by over 2,000 serving military personnel, veterans groups and families of soldiers who have lost their lives in the service of their country, in what is will be SAFC's biggest-ever military tribute.
Soldiers from 2 Signal Regiment, led by WO1(RSM) John Stephenson, will form a Guard of Honour in full military dress as the Sunderland and Everton players enter the field of play. A poppy wreath will be laid in the centre circle of the pitch by Coldstream Guard and Sunderland season card holder, Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter and a traditional two minutes silence will be observed by players and fans prior to kick off.
Members of 2 Signal Regiment will take part in a charity collection around the stadium to raise funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Sunderland's squad will sport special one-off match shirts bearing the traditional poppy emblem, which will then be auctioned by the Royal British Legion.
Representatives from Brothers in Arms, the charity set up to build a new war memorial in the City of Sunderland dedicated to local men and women who have lost their lives in battle or training since the end of the Second World War, will also be present on the day, along with serving members of one of the region's most famous regiments, the Coldstream Guards and 3 Rifles, the successors to the Durham Light Infantry.
This will be the ninth consecutive year that members of the Armed Forces and their families have joined with the club to support the country's Remembrance Commemorations.
Sunderland AFC chairman, Ellis Short, said: "It is always a tremendous honour for us to welcome serving personnel, veterans groups and military families to the Stadium of Light and our tribute takes on extra significance this year as we commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1.
"Sunderland AFC is proud to recognise the long-standing military tradition in the North East region and we are privileged to be able to have this opportunity to give thanks to those people who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country."
WO1 (RSM) John Stephenson of 2 Signal Regiment said: "I am always overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity shown by everyone we engage with during our time in the North East and the people of Sunderland and Sunderland Football Club have been amazing in their support of the British Forces for the past nine years.
"Year after year, without fail, they have dug deep to support those currently serving and who have previously served. They have helped so many families who have unfortunately lost their loved ones throughout the years due to conflict and I am truly grateful for the support we receive. "