Gareth from the Office: Wear your poppy with pride

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I SAT down on Saturday to watch the England versus Spain game with a sense of dread.

Not because we were playing the World and European champions but because of a disgraceful decision made by the powers that be in football.

England players were told that they were not allowed to wear poppies on their football shirts for the game. Sorry, I don’t give a stuff about the ‘compromise’ that was reached – that was still a disgusting decision.

We wear poppies every year to commemorate the memory of those who lost their lives in conflicts serving our country. How dare anyone refuse our players the right to show that same respect.

It is not just British soldiers who lost their lives in Flanders Fields – many other soldiers from countries around the world were killed as well.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the First World War ended. Civilians wanted to remember the people who had given their lives for peace and freedom.

An American War Secretary, Moina Michael, inspired by John McCrae’s famous poem, began selling poppies to friends to raise money for the ex-Service community. And so the tradition began.

Poppies were the only thing left from the horrific fighting in France in 1915 so they were used to commemorate the dead who, as the poem states ‘lie in Flanders Fields.’

Now my question is what was the problem? We are a country which has spent the last 90 years celebrating and commemorating a special occasion, the game was being played in OUR country against a country who did not object to our wearing of the poppies so what was causing the furore?

The armbands ‘compromise’ was a joke. Well done to Prince William and other top FA bods for stepping in but I would have considered wearing them anyway.

What a kick in the teeth to our heroes that must have been, and that’s saying something to people who have been SHOT at!

I hope the people who made this disgusting decision hang their heads in shame.

I, like many others, have been wearing their poppies with pride for the last couple of weeks.

What harm would a small embroidered flower on a football shirt have done to upset anyone?

I’ll tell you, none whatsoever. Not meaning to stir things up but I read a report that said the German Football Association said if they were playing against England even THEY would have had no problem with the poppies.

I hope next year people see sense and allow people the opportunity to wear poppies.

Years ago people fought bravely and gave their lives so we could even watch a football match, let alone commemorate people in one.