Ospreys players will show their support for the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal this week, when they wear special poppies on their match jersey in Friday’s match against Connacht.
The Liberty Stadium Guinness PRO12 clash against the Irish side has already been dedicated to the appeal, with collections being made at the ground and a pre-match performance pitch side from the Royal British Legion band.
Now, the poppy on the famous black jersey will be a visual representation of the region’s support for the cause as they commemorate the enormous sacrifices made by members of the forces in defence of the country.
Andrew Hore, Ospreys Chief Executive, commented:
“We are delighted to host members of the Royal British Legion for our game on Friday evening. It’s important that we remember the soldiers who have lost their lives in battle, as well as helping those who return injured, who so often are the forgotten ones.
“The Poppy Appeal is a cause which is close to the heart of everyone. The ongoing and recent conflicts around the world have highlighted the stark reality of war and have brought the work of the Royal British Legion home to a new, younger generation who maybe haven’t been so aware of historic conflicts.
“By wearing the poppy on our shirt for the evening, the team will be showing their gratitude for the sacrifices made by members of the forces. With ex and current service men and women joining us at the Liberty Stadium, no doubt they will provide plenty of inspiration for the team.”
Collections will be made throughout the stadium for the appeal by the sea, army and air cadets, along with members of the scouts and staff from the Royal British Legion. In addition, members of the Royal British Legion can access specially discounted tickets, with a special cashback deal seeing the Appeal benefiting from each purchase.
Funds raised will help support veterans of all ages, from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force along with injured serving personnel, on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
As a further show of their support for the Poppy Appeal, Ospreys players will be pounding the streets of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend to help the British Legion’s team of volunteers selling poppies next month.
The appeal is the Legion's biggest fundraising campaign and runs throughout the year. Shoppers are able to snap up lapel poppies at shops, supermarkets, pubs and clubs, from the last week of October until Remembrance Sunday.
Throughout the UK it takes 350,000 volunteers and staff to organise the Poppy Appeal each year and money raised goes to support our welfare work for the Armed Forces community.
More than 40 million Remembrance poppies, 500,000 poppies of other types, five million Remembrance petals, 100,000 wreaths and sprays, 750,000 Remembrance Crosses and other Remembrance items are made each year.
And the 2013 Poppy Appeal raised an amazing £39 million across Britain — with a record breaking £70,000 through street collections.
The target for the 2014 Appeal, which runs from October 2014 until September 2015, is £40 million.