“Thank you” – Remembrance Day football match organisers thank supporters

BY Harry Hogger: Dorset Echo

Dorchester Town 5 Dorset Army XI 0

Organisers of a Remembrance Day football match in Dorchester have thanked all those who supported the occasion. Dorchester Town Football Club took on an Army side at the Avenue Stadium to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

Before kick-off the crowd was invited to join club directors, Army representatives and the teams on the pitch for a short service of remembrance.

Allen Knott, the club’s community director and a licensed lay minister who led the service in the absence of the club chaplain, said the whole event was a great success.

He said: “We were there for three special reasons.

“Firstly to play a football match, which is our national sport, secondly to honour those who gave their lives so that we might gather in peace and freedom, and thirdly to make a statement that as a community club we extend the hand of friendship to our armed services personnel, and most especially those stationed near to us at Bovington.”

Dorchester won the game 5-0 as a crowd of around 100 watched on.

The crowd also gave generously towards a bucket collection and raffle for the Royal British Legion.

Dorchester area organiser for the Legion’s Poppy Appeal Graham Rhys-Jones said that, although the final amount had yet to be totalled, it was expected that the event raised around £200 for the charity.

He said: “It went very well. People were very read to go in for the raffle and the bucket collection went equally well so we were very pleased.”

The event was designed to build on the relationship between the community club and local armed services following a game in December last year that saw the two sides play as part of a World War One centenary celebrations.

The match between Dorchester and the Army side will now become an annual event, with the two teams playing for a trophy donated by sponsors Perfect Day Weddings.

At the end of the match Nigel Brain from Perfect Day Weddings presented the trophy to this year’s winners, Dorchester Town, and a Colonel from Bovington and Mayor of Dorchester Robin Potter presented a man of the match award for each team.