The Royal British Legion has launched a slightly different commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with their “Sport Remembers” campaign.
This campaign has been supported by many sportspeople representing – among others – football, rugby, cricket, and boxing. The latest superstar to join the campaign is Scottish tennis champion Andy Murray. He has joined in remembrance of the many tennis players who gave up their life on the courts to join the military and fight for their countries.
“During the First World War many tennis players left the court for the battlefield and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I find it humbling that so many players sacrificed so much for us,” Murray said.
“I’m proud to be part of the Royal British Legion’s Sport Remembers campaign and commemorate the role played by sportsmen on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.”
Jack Hillyard and Tony Wilding are two of the many players that Murray will remember. Hillyard’s mother was the first star of the tennis courts, winning six ladies singles championships at Wimbledon and Wilding won four Wimbledon championships.
Joining Murray are all the members of Britain’s Olympic “Team GB” from the Rio Olympics as well as the Football Association and other major sporting associations, Mirror reported.
Toolkits supplied by the Royal British Legion will help people commemorate their sporting heroes with poems, readings, and music.
The National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, said that the Battle of the Somme was the costliest in British history. With sport suspended during the war, a great number of athletes and players served and fell at the Somme.
“The Royal British Legion is calling on sports at all levels to remember their contribution by holding their own commemorative event, and we hope the toolkit will help with this.”
“Sport has the ability to touch every community and we hope that Sport Remembers will unite our nation in ensuring their sacrifice is never forgotten.”