Hooker Matthew Dwyer, a serving soldier with the Welsh Guards, has given his full support to 'Heroes Day' at the Liberty Stadium this Friday.
The Ospreys have designated the RaboDirect PRO12 home game against Edinburgh as ‘Heroes Day’, where they will pay tribute to the brave men and women who serve in the UK’s Armed Forces.
Dwyer, who has been handed his chance with the region this season making eight appearances to date including a Heineken Cup debut in Toulouse, holds the rank of Lance Sergeant having served his country for almost eight years in which time he has seen action in Bosnia and Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
Speaking ahead of ‘Heroes Day’ Dwyer, who has represented the British Army and the Combined Services on the rugby field and played at the Forces World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, said:
“It’s brilliant that management here are showing the support for my colleagues in the military. As a serving soldier, I know the danger that our service men and women work in around the world to protect the country so it’s great when they get some public recognition like this on Friday night.
“It really does mean a lot to someone serving the country to see this kind of public support as it shows that their work isn’t in vain. The free ticket offer for services personnel is a nice touch and I hope that I’ll see plenty of my colleagues from the Welsh Guards at the game supporting the Ospreys.
“The Ospreys have a strong relationship with the Welsh Guards already, and the involvement we’ve had in the Ryan Jones testimonial year has brought the two organisations even closer which is brilliant news for everyone.”
The region has sent out an open invitation to all serving members of the armed forces to join the cause at the Liberty Stadium for a must-win game, with a free match ticket available to each individual upon production of a valid warrant card at the Ticket Office.
Meanwhile, Heroes Challenge UK, a Swansea based charitable organisation aiming to raise funds for forces charity Help for Heroes have also been invited along for the evening, and will have a presence in the supporters village pre-match, as well as taking part in a bucket collection to raise much needed funds for their good cause.
Heroes Challenge UK will see a team of 12, most of whom with services backgrounds, undertaking a unique and physically demanding never before completed challenge. Setting off on May 22nd, from John O’Groats in Scotland, participants will cycle 1,206 miles around UK, row across the Irish Sea and back, and also, summit the UK’s four highest peaks (Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Scaffell Pike and Slieve Donard over the course of just 1o days. The final act of the challenge will see team arriving at their end destination of Swansea Airport via aeroplane from Lands’ End, skydiving into Fairwood.
All proceeds from the event are going to Help for Heroes, and Richard Morgan, who is leading the challenge, said:
"It's fantastic that the Ospreys are promoting Friday night's game against Edinburgh as ‘Heroes Day,’ and as part of that are supporting the Heroes Challenge UK, which aims to raise £100,000 to help wounded arms forces personnel.
"To see such a community focused organisation as the Ospreys placing a real value on the work of our service men and women around the UK and around the world is very gratifying. Hopefully we'll see plenty of them present at the game, taking advantage of the very generous free tickets for forces offer."
Andrew Hore, Ospreys Chief Operations Officer, added:
“It’s an enormous privilege for us to be able to host ‘Heroes Day’ at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night, and to throw open our doors to the many service men and women from around the region who can join us at the game free of charge.
“It’s a great opportunity for the Ospreylian rugby public to show their gratitude for the tremendous work being done by our troops around the world and should be a wonderful occasion.
“To be able to welcome the Heroes Challenge team ahead of their charity mission and to aid their fundraising efforts on behalf of Help for Heroes is also a real pleasure. It’s a wonderful cause which we are honoured to be associated with.”
You can find out more about The Heroes Challenge at www.heroeschallenge.co.uk.