Remembrance Sunday might be still more than a week away, but with the nearest home match this weekend Wasps will be paying their respects this Saturday.
Wasps are including servicemen and women for the home match against Newcastle Falcons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this weekend.
One of the club’s ball boys – whose great grandfather was a Dunkirk veteran – will be reading the exhortation pre-match before the minute’s silence, along with a bugler who will perform The Last Post and Reveille.
SSAFA (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) – who are one of the club’s chosen charities in their 150th anniversary season - will have representative Kevin Bowman, secretary for the Warwickshire branch, lay a wreath, alongside Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood and several players. SSAFA will also be taking part in the Guard of Honour with their standard bearers.
It also marks the first of two matches where Wasps are supporting the British Armed Forces, which will include bucket collections for SSAFA during their Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, November 18 (kick-off 5.15pm). Wasps will also be supporting the Bedworth Armistice Day parade on 11th November, and will also provide volunteers and veterans taking part in the parade with tickets to the game against Newcastle Falcons on the 18th to the veterans taking part.
Nick Eastwood, chief executive at Wasps, said: “We as a club want to pay our respects to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom that we have today. We will be supplying stewards to next weekend’s Bedworth Armistice Day Parade and it will be great to see them with us to pay their respects before the game.
“SSAFA do an unbelievable job of providing lifelong care for those who have served in the British Armed Forces. They are one of our charity partners for the season as part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations, where we will be looking to raise as much money as we can for them, starting with our upcoming Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle where we will have bucket collectors around the ground.”
Kevin Bowman served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers between 1985 and 1995 – taking in tours of Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Norway - and has been volunteering with SSAFA for 17 years.
He added: “We rely on donations from the general public to support our veterans and serving personnel and their families.
“We provide support for anything from relationship breakdown, debt and homelessness through to health and social care services and mentoring services - so we are extremely grateful to Wasps for their fundraising commitment.”
To donate to SSAFA and Wasps’ two other official charity partners - Zoe’s Place and Dallaglio RugbyWorks - as part of the club’s 150th anniversary season, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wasps-rugbyclub.
Tickets for Wasps vs Newcastle Falcons are available from www.wasps.co.uk/tickets.