Remembering the Christmas truce

The poignant World War One Christmas Truce was the theme of a football match played by young Leighton footballers at the weekend.

The historic event took place on the Western Front in 1914 when British and German soldiers ventured out of the trenches into No Man’s Land to exchange seasonal greetings and have a kick-about.

Saturday’s Milton Keynes District Development League game between two Leighton Corinthians Youth Football Club under 13 sides – the Tigers and Eagles – took place on its centenary and is one they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

It was attended by members of Stanbridge Army Cadets with Cadet Corporal Sam Cook describing what happened 100 years ago.

Cadet Charlie Brown then placed the match ball on to the centre circle while players and supporters observed a minute’s silence.

Tigers won 4-1.

Their manager Mike Smith said: “We wanted to pay respect to the fallen of both world wars and decided on the Truce theme.

“It was really, really moving as well as being educational, and the military involvement was excellent.”

Eagles’ goalkeeper James Smith, 11, of Linslade Middle School said he knew about the truce because he’d seen it on television – thanks to the Sainsbury’s ‘Christmas is for sharing’ advert made in partnership with the Royal British Legion.

Eagles’ manager Jason Davage added: “We wanted all the boys to commemorate the centenary of the Christmas Truce 1914.”

Striker Josh Hill, 11, said he’d learned about it at Leighton Middle School.

Stacey Major – mum of Tigers’ left wing David, 13 - said: “It was lovely seeing the boys paying respect at the same time as the ‘Football Remembers’ monument was unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum.”

There was a bacon buttie barbecue after the match with all proceeds going to Help for Heroes.