The Games of Remembrance

The Games of Remembrance, through the power of football, brings World War 1 stories of courage and sacrifice alive, 100 years after the guns fell silent.

The Games of Remembrance represent the two most significant centenary armistice events outside London and the most inclusive events. Led by the Army FA, in collaboration with other delivery partners, including Nottingham Forest FC, Nottingham County FC, Nottingham County and City Councils, the Woodland Trust, the Games take place on 8 November between UK and German Armed Forces Teams. The Royal British Legion and UK and German military rehab charities are also engaged.

Football was and is the Soldiers’ Game in both the UK and Germany. From the only 50 professional clubs in existence at the time, over 2000 professional footballers joined up to fight in WWI, and nearly 300 of those were killed.  Professional football clubs set the example: professional players, including players from the England team, amateur players from all over the country and fans joined up in their 10000s. Several professional footballers were awarded gallantry medals.

During the War Years, football was kept alive by women playing. Attracting huge crowds, these matches boosted morale, and raised funds for wounded soldiers and bereaved families. Football was, and remains a force for good, it appeals to many audiences and can unify communities.

Although our nations were enemies in WWI, many troops on either side had similar lives, shared troubles and hopes and a shared love of football. And today the nations are staunch friends and allies.

As well as the German football teams, an important German contingent will attend both games in the spirit of unity and to mark this important milestone. Notably, along with team members from both countries, they will also attend a memorial event at Nottingham on 6 November.

The matches

On Thursday 8 November, 2 matches will take place between UK and German armed forces teams. 

The Women’s match kicks off 12.00 at Notts County.  The family zone at the match will also showcase women’s important role in football during WW1.

  • This match will be attended by school children, members of the public and sponsors from across Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands.
  • We have subsidised all tickets – free tickets and transport are available for school groups - contact gamesofremembrance@gmail.com to apply.

 The Men’s match kicks off 19.00 at Nottingham Forest.

  • People from across Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands are invited to attend – including football clubs, families, youth groups, friendship groups and football fans.
  • We have subsidised all tickets – free tickets and transport are available for youth groups and grassroots football clubs and teams - contact gamesofremembrance@gmail.com to apply.

Each match will have a youth fan zone outside, for two hours before kick-off, which will include entertainment, exhibitions and music. 

Nottingham veteran calls on the city’s football community to support The Greatest Games of Remembrance

Army veteran and Nottingham Forest fan, Freddie Cosgrove was first in the queue when tickets for The Greatest Games of Remembrance went on sale and is calling on the city’s football fans to support the event.

Nottingham Forest and Notts County Football Clubs have joined forces with the British Army Football Association to host the games on Thursday, November 8th. They will see troops from the British Army Football Association take on the German Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) to commemorate soldiers from both sides who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War.

Notts County, nicknamed The Magpies, will host the women's match at their stadium in Meadow Lane with the match kick-off at midday. The men’s match at Nottingham Forest, nicknamed The Reds, will take place at 7pm.

Former Sherwood Forester and Malayan Veteran, Freddie (79), who is also a die-hard Nottingham Forester supporter, will be joined on the terraces by his wife Bridie who is also a devoted Reds supporter.

It’s fantastic and I think it’s going to be a really good event. Freddie

Freddie said: “It makes me really proud as a Notts man, that the city is hosting these matches. It’s fantastic and I think it’s going to be a really good event. I hope that all football fans, whoever they support - Reds or the Magpies - come along and show the military that the city’s football fans do remember and we do support them.”

Freddie deployed with the 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters to Malaya in 1958. The Malaya Emergency had started in June 1948, when communist-backed terrorists were attempting to overthrow the Government. The 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters were deployed in the closing stages of the war in 1958 with the task to keep the terrorists in the jungle where survival was difficult. The Emergency was declared over in 1960.

“The jungle conditions were tough.” said Freddie. “As young soldiers we’d never experienced it before and we had to camouflage ourselves amongst the bushes and the trees. We worked with the Malay guides who patrolled with us. Without them, the job of stopping the Guerillas would have been a lot harder.

The football-filled day will have something for all ages to enjoy, including displays of military equipment and vehicles at the football grounds and music from a military band. A number of club legends will also attend both matches.

A family ticket (one adult and two children) for the women's afternoon game at Meadow Lane will cost £5. For the evening match at the City Ground, entry for two adults and two children will be £10. There is £2.50 concession price to both matches for any uniformed services, U16s, students and senior citizens. Tickets for both matches will be available through the club websites and ticket offices. For more information visit www.gamesofremembrance.com

Partnership

To commemorate footballers of the Great War, the Army has partnered with NSI, RBL and For Club & Country, a project run by the Woodland Trust and The National Football Museum. 

To inspire people, football fans or not, to find out more about World War I and the role football played, we are encouraging people to make a short video tribute to one of the thousands of footballers who signed up, or one of the many inspirational women who took up the game on the Home Front.

About the project

Find out more about WWI and football

A list of footballers who served and who paid the ultimate price

A list of female footballers in WW1