04/03/2024 - Permalink

Military match day plans are cleared for take off

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Armed Forces helicopter landing

Helicopters from Number 1 Flying Training School based at RAF Shawbury have delivered the match day ball for a number of years (File pic)

The tenth annual Armed Forces match day at Shrewsbury Town FC has been cleared for take off and will be landing on Saturday 16 March 2024 for the fixture against Carlisle United.

The event, hosted and organised by Shrewsbury Town Foundation, Shrewsbury Town FC and Shropshire Council’s Armed Forces Covenant team, highlights Armed Forces Veterans’ contribution to our country, as well as showcasing the commitment and skill of our current members of the military.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Councillor, who is an Armed Forces champion for the council, said:-

“We are now staging out tenth annual Armed Forces match day and they continue to grow in popularity. It is something we look forward to each year and we know is eagerly anticipated by our local Armed Forces community.

“The matches bring people together through their love of sport and support for Shrewsbury Town and are an excellent opportunity for people to learn more about the Armed Forces, what they do and how they serve. For the Armed Forces community itself the match is always eagerly anticipated and very well attended.”

E Company 8th Battalion the RIFLES will support this year’s match day again, organising the Military Village at the event.

Shrewsbury based E Company are the local Army Reserves Infantry Battalion, constantly deploying Rifleman on UK and overseas operations.  1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment are a Regular Infantry Battalion also based in Shropshire.

Other Army Reserves Units setting up in the Military Village will include 101 REME and 159 RLC.  The local Army Careers Centre will be in attendance for those interested in regular service, and the RIFLES Army Cadet Force will be on site to find out more about what they offer.

This year the newly formed Cadet Bligny Band & Bugles, will be performing pre-match and during the half-time internal.  As well as various weapons and equipment on display, there will be a climbing wall and BATAK test your reactions game to try, all activities are free”

A spokesperson for Shrewsbury Town added:-

“We are proud to support the Armed Forces, both in Shropshire and across the country. Our military matchday is the envy of many football clubs across the country. The day is a great opportunity for fans of both clubs to learn more about the Armed Forces in a fun environment.

“This year, in addition to the military and charity stands, the match ball will once again be delivered by Helicopter from RAF Shawbury, I know this is something our supporters look forward.”

Alan Jones, Wing Commander, RAF Shawbury Station Commander, said:-

“The Military Match Day at Shrewsbury Town FC is one of our favourite events of the year. It represents the amazing support RAF Shawbury and all current and former serving military personnel receive from communities and organisations across Shropshire. We are very proud of our strong mutual links with Shrewsbury Town FC and Shropshire Council, as operated through the Armed Forces Covenant. We hope our personnel, families and veterans enjoy the day, as well as well as supporters and members of the public who come and see the military displays in the Fan Zone before the match.”

As has become tradition the match day ball will be delivered to Croud Meadow by a Juno helicopter from Number 1 Flying Training School based at RAF Shawbury. The helicopter will fly into the stadium to present the ball at 2.50pm.

The school uses a modern fleet of 29 Juno (Airbus H135) helicopters and 7 Jupiter (Airbus H145) helicopters to train military helicopter aircrew from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, as part of the UK Military Flying Training System.