A Time to Remember

Tonight’s game is dedicated to all those who have lost their lives during conflicts down the years, those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

This year I am particularly thinking of those who served during the Afghanistan conflict as many loved ones try to make sense of what happened at that time and the impact of the recent withdrawal of troops on that land.

In recent weeks we had the privilege of inviting 95 Afghan refugees to a home game. They bore the scars and horror of a broken land.  

Before the game, we shall hold a minute's silence and lay a wreath whilst during the game our players will be wearing the shirt with the poppy on as part of our act of remembrance. These shirts will be auctioned off to raise vital funds for the Royal British Legion.

In the South Lower stand we have an area dedicated to those who have gone unknown in conflict and lost their lives in the form of transparent cutouts of soldiers. Let us remember them too at this time. 

On Remembrance Sunday, 14th December I shall lay a wreath on behalf of the Club at the Cenotaph in Bolton Town Centre as part of the service of the Act of Remembrance.

Just around the corner from the cenotaph on Nelson's Square is another war memorial to those who died in action serving in the Bolton Artillery. On that memorial is the name very dear to us here at Bolton Wanderers, Harry Goslin.

Harry our Team Captain of the time Harry was an inspirational leader both on and off the pitch and in 1939, in front of a 23,000 strong crowd at Burnden Park, the 28-year-old skipper gave a rousing speech before leading his entire team to sign up at the local Territorial Army drill hall. They became known as the Wanderers at War.

"We are facing a national emergency," he told them.

"But this danger can be met, if everybody keeps a cool head, and knows what to do. This is something you can't leave to the other fellow, everybody has a share to do."

Harry lost his life in conflict and is a real hero of our Club, our Town, and our Country.

It is important that during this time we all wear our poppies with pride and join together to remember Harry and all those who have lost their lives in conflict and those that have served their country. We are one club, one community, one town.

Enjoy the game,

Phil Mason

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