Joe Williams (RMRE) and Jacob Watson (SHWAL) marked Armistice Day in a particularly memorable way last week.
Both boys play for the Manchester United Academy and they were involved in the annual Man Utd v Man City friendly which honours the spirit of the First World War Christmas Truce in 1914.
On 11 November, Joe’s U12 team hosted Manchester City at United’s Carrington Training Complex, whilst Jacob’s U13 team travelled to the City Football Academy.
As well taking part in the friendly matches, they participated in remembrance ceremonies at each ground.
At the U13 match, Jacob and the Manchester City captain read a poem together as part of the ceremony, and wreaths were laid on behalf of both clubs.
Every season, the Premier League Academy Education Programme holds a Christmas Truce Qualification Tournament with the winners going on to play clubs from Belgium, France, Germany and other nations who fought in WWI.
On Remembrance Sunday (14 November), Joe travelled to St George’s Park to play for the Man Utd U12 team that went on to win the qualifier. They are now looking forward to playing in the international event later this year.
The international event is usually held in Ypres, Belgium and includes visits to the WWI Battlefields and cemeteries. Due to Covid restrictions, it will be held in the UK this year but the educational element of the project is still a key part of the tournament with teams taking part in a focussed project in order to qualify.
Joe and Jacob both signed for the Manchester Utd Academy when they were under-9s. As well as the obvious football opportunities that both boys enjoy, their parents have also praised the Academy’s Education Team for the extensive work that they do to provide other educational opportunities.
Well done to Joe and Jacob, and good luck to Joe’s team in the International event next month.