Over 1,000 members of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will have free access to Premier League grounds this weekend (19-21 November) courtesy of Tickets For Troops. The celebratory weekend will also highlight the on-going work of the 20 Barclays Premier League clubs in this area, as over 20,000 match tickets will be given away this season as part of the initiative.
The Premier League and its 20 clubs have been involved with Tickets For Troops since the 2009/10 season and allocate courtesy tickets for selected home matches to serving members of the British Armed Forces, and all those medically discharged from the Forces since the commencement of military action in Afghanistan in 2001. This weekend all the ten home clubs are giving up part of their allocation to Tickets For Troops.
The Premier League is also supporting the work of Tickets For Troops by donating perimeter board and match programme space to the charity, as well as making stadium announcements. The weekend will also be highlighted by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), which the Premier League provides with free TV and radio rights to Barclays Premier League games.
Clubs will also individually highlight the work of the British Armed Forces. At the Everton v. Wolverhampton Wanderers match, representatives of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will lay a wreath on the centre circle before kick-off. At the Tottenham Hotspur v. Aston Villa match on Monday night there will be a formation of troops either side of the tunnel area to greet the arrival of the teams. The club will also be presenting a cheque at half-time on the pitch to the Royal British Legion from the auction of the Poppy shirts that the Tottenham Hotspur players wore in their match on 30 October against Queens Park Rangers.
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool captain and Tickets For Troops patron, said: “It’s fantastic that the Premier League is supporting Tickets For Troops in such a major way and making so many tickets available for members of the British Armed Forces. We recognise the very special job they do on behalf of all of us and this is a great way of saying thank you.”
Scott Parker, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, stated: “Tickets For Troops is a fantastic initiative. It shows our appreciation for everyone in the forces who are out there serving the country. I’m sure for the troops in Afghanistan it’s all about being a team, that togetherness and the support from home will help them. Hopefully they’ll enjoy the game on Monday.”
Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, added: “The Premier League has a longstanding relationship with the troops with thousands of serving personnel follow the match action around the world. Tickets For Troops is an excellent addition to this as it ensures members of the Armed Forces can see the action for real when they can get a chance. I’d like to thank the 20 Barclays Premier League clubs for generously donating over 20,000 match tickets this season.”
General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff at the British Army said: “I am delighted that the Premier League are supporting Tickets For Troops. It is a huge boost to the morale of the troops to receive recognition from major organisations across the country. Tickets For Troops is making a real difference and is appreciated by everyone in the Armed Forces.”
Tickets For Troops Chairman, Lord Marland said: “We are hugely grateful to the Premier League and the Premier League Clubs for supporting the troops in this way. Tickets For Troops provides organisations the opportunity to celebrate the terrific work of our troops and their commitment, resolve and courage to protect our national security. The generosity of ticket providers, including the Premier League, has been remarkable and shows the depth and feeling that is felt throughout the country and the desire to support our Troops.”
Tickets For Troops was founded in 2009 to offer the British Armed Forces free tickets to a huge number of high profile events. Since launching, it has provided over 270,000 tickets and over 100,000 troops have registered on the website. (www.ticketsfortroops.org.uk)
For more information please contact the Premier League Press Office on 020 7864 9190 or go to www.premierleague.com