Adams Park will fall silent shortly before kick-off on Saturday as part of the commemorations on Remembrance weekend.In each of the past five years, Wanderers have hosted the launch of the countywide Poppy Appeal in association with the High Wycombe branch of the Royal British Legion, which has usually taken place in the final week of October.
Due to the way the fixtures have fallen this season, this year’s tribute instead takes place on Remembrance weekend, and will involve a minute’s silence before the game against Morecambe as well as a half-time ceremony, led by representatives of the Legion.
Attending the match will be Cllr Zia Ahmed, mayor of High Wycombe, and his wife, as well as Group Captain Phil Lester and his sons Hector and Gabe, plus county chairman David Johnson, who are all being hosted by the club in the boardroom.
Also hosted in our VIP hospitality lounge are Monica Hickman, Dennis Edwards, Kevin Taylor, Tony and Christine Dykes, Rob and Frances Knock, Sian Mernor, Adam Bragg, Julia Pritchard, Barry Mills and Roy Hawes.
However for the first time in the Wanderers’ recent history of partnering with the Legion, the event will be without Monty Seymour – club president and president of the Wycombe branch of the Legion – who remains in the care of the Heights nursing home in Downley, but looks forward to seeing photos of the commemorations.
Wycombe’s affiliation with the Remembrance Day tributes is particularly poignant for this generation of staff and players, following a trip to the World War I battlefields two years ago, when manager Gareth Ainsworth led his squad to northern France to visit the memorial to the Footballers’ Battalions in Longueval, and to learn more about football players just like themselves who fell in the Great War.
Ainsworth had represented modern-day footballers at the unveiling of the memorial in 2010, and returned with his players to discover the stories of the Footballers’ Battalions (Middlesex 17th and 23rd regiments) who fought in the war, including Frank Buckley, Vivian Woodward and Walter Tull, who was the second black professional footballer and the first black army officer, as well as PFA chairman Evelyn Lintott and Victoria Cross recipient Donald Bell.
During the trip, the squad were able to lay a poppy tribute to former Wycombe Wanderers player James McDermott at the Thiepval Memorial, which commemorates soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme but whose bodies were never found, while they also had the chance to research and visit the burial sites of relatives who may have fought in the war.
A video documentary of the trip was shown to the current squad when they returned for training this summer on July 1st – exactly 100 years on from the first day of the battle of the Somme.
Supporters will be able to obtain poppies at the match in return for a donation, as part of the Legion’s activities to raise much-needed funds for the work they undertake.