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Christmas Truce event gives boys memorable experience

Manchester United and West Brom U12s honour the sacrifice made by footballers in World War One

The weekend included a visit to the site of the original Christmas Truce in 1914

Players from Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion's Under-12 sides had a weekend they will never forget when they took part in the Premier League’s second Christmas Truce international youth tournament at Ypres.

The youngsters joined teams from Belgium, Germany and France in the annual youth development competition to honour the sacrifice made by previous generations of footballers in the First World War.

They also joined two of the competing teams, Anderlecht and Beerschot, at the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, which commemorates the 57,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the Ypres Salient of the First World War.

Martyn Heather, the Premier League's Head of Education and Welfare, said: "Lionel Messi said recently that being the best player in the world was not important to him but being a good person was. I used that quote over the weekend with the boys and I suppose that’s the sort of philosophy we are trying to embed into our young players as we go along."

Key Points

  • Premier League run second Christmas Truce Youth Tournament in Ypres
  • Manchester United and West Brom U12s played teams from Germany, Belgium and France
  • Players also learnt off the pitch about the Great War as well as developing their game