Updated: Saturday, 18th November 2017 @ 8:06am

City support soldier heroes with poppy appeal auction

City support soldier heroes with poppy appeal auction

By Paulyn Lloyd

Manchester City Football Club auctioned their player’s shirts at City’s home game against Birmingham, on Saturday, to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

The shirts were specially designed for the occasion and had the traditional red poppy motif embroidered onto them.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Mercian Regiment in Cheshire, who recently returned from Afghanistan, sold poppies at the beginning of the game.

A minutes silence was held before the game to remember the British servicemen and women who have died in wars across the world.

Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City said City are keen to help the British Legion publicise their message, that a lot of  the work they do benefits the most recent casualties of war - those serving in Afghanistan, rather than the perception that so many people has of them being there to only assist the World War 2 veterans.

He said: “The work the British Legion do is incredibly important and should be recognised all year round, not just around Remembrance Sunday.

“They provide a wealth of essential and practical assistance to the armed forces at a time when they are most in need and their intervention has been invaluable to so many.”

Manchester City have auctioned their shirts as part of their Remembrance Day activities for The Poppy Appeal every year since 2003 and last year they raised £12,000 for the appeal.

The British Legion’s Community Fundraiser, Kevin McGuire, said: “It’s fantastic, 16% of the Armed Forces are recruited from the North-West and it’s a great way of showing support for the people from the North-West both lads and girls both serving and ex-serving people.

“Manchester City have supported the Poppy Appeal for over 20 years they have been very good supporters and we have a very good relationship with them.”

He said the British Legion are paying out £200,000 a day in welfare to the serving and ex-serving community which equates to £1.4 million a week.

So they have to raise the money to ensure they can carry on looking after the welfare of the serving and ex-serving community and their dependants.

City fan Simon Barnes was at the match.

He said: “I’m really proud of the club it’s really good that they are supporting the Poppy Appeal.”

The British Legion will celebrate their 90th anniversary next year and they hope to raise £36million for the Poppy Appeal this year alone.

“People have asked the question; how should you wear a poppy? There is only one way to wear a poppy, wear it with pride.” Mr McGuire said.