Blind veterans visit Brighton Albion FC to commemorate 100 years since World War I

1 July 2014 16:33

Albion supporters paid tribute to Britain’s Armed Services this weekend at a special pre-match commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Saturday's match against Sheffield Wednesday saw five of the veterans we support lead the 100th anniversary commemorations at the Brighton Albion FC.

The veterans, all of whom live in or around our Brighton centre, joined the team on the pitch before the match. Four of the veterans had served in the Second World War and the fifth, Paul Jacobs GM, was blinded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan.

The veterans were met by ex-Albion player Gary Chivers and led out on to the pitch, where Paul spoke about how he lost his sight, as well as the support he'd received from Blind Veterans UK - to applause from the spectators.

Tom Gorringe, Brighton Albion FC's Head of Marketing, said: "We wanted to commemorate the First World War and pay our respects to the Service men and women who served not only in that conflict, but every conflict since.

"We really wanted to involve Blind Veterans UK, given its local involvement with Brighton. The charity has been a part of the town for nearly 100 years and it was fantastic to have these amazing veterans join us on the pitch ahead of the match."

Natasha Cartwright, Activities Coordinator at Blind Veterans UK, said: "Our veterans felt hugely privileged and honoured to attend the match on Saturday and we at Blind Veterans UK were extremely touched by the fans' support.

"The fans' reaction was absolutely amazing and our blind veterans absolutely loved being at the Amex Stadium.

"Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 to support the veterans who came back blinded from the First World War, so it was particularly poignant for us to commemorate the outbreak of the War."

To find out more about what we do to help blind veterans, please visit the how we help page on our website. If you would like to see more photos of our veterans visiting Brighton Albion FC please visit our Pinterest.