Falklands Anniversary game to be played at the Twickenham Stoop
8 June 2007 14:33pm
The Twickenham Stoop is hosting a fixture between the Falklands Task Force Rugby XV and Penguin International RFC as part of the Falklands 25th Anniversary commemorations. This game will take place on Saturday 16th June 2007, kick-off 4.00pm.
With the end of the domestic rugby union season, the Nation will mark the 25th Anniversary of the British Armed Forces deployment to the Falkland Islands. The liberation of the islands will be commemorated with a rugby match and a fund raising dinner at the Twickenham Stoop. All proceeds will be donated to the South Atlantic Medal Association (1982) - a charity which does much to support the veterans and relatives of the Falklands Task Force. HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, is the Patron of the association.
Whilst the event will be a traditional rugby occasion, the theme is one of commemoration and remembrance to honour the 255 men of the Task Force and the three Falkland Islanders killed before the Royal Marines were once again able to raise the Union Jack over Government House in Port Stanley. In addition, 777 men were wounded in action, many of whom struggle to lead a normal life.
The efforts of the Task Force - in atrocious sub Antarctic weather conditions - can be summarised as follows: "In seven weeks a Task Force of 28,000 men and over 100 ships was assembled and sailed 8000 miles. It fought off combat aircraft that outnumbered its own by six to one. It put 8500 men ashore on a hostile coast and fought several pitched battles against the enemy. And brought them to surrender within three and a half weeks."
So we will remember them, and it promises to be a memorable occasion. Sponsored by HERCULES GROUP plc, The Falklands Task Force team will contain the current most talented players from the units that fought in the conflict, against a Penguins XV that will field well known names from the world of rugby including Rod Moore (Calvisano & Australia), David Blair (Sale), Neil Clarke (Bristol), Brian Milne (London Scottish & Southland NPC NZ), Tim Walsh (Newbury & Australia 7's), Ben Breeze (Exeter & Wales A), John Phillips (Bedford), Kevin Brennan (Oxford & England 7's) and Andy Le Chevalier (Henley). Joe Roff (Oxford University & Australia) is coaching.
Major General Julian Thompson CB, OBE, the Commander of 3 Commando Brigade during the conflict, will present the Task Force Trophy to the winning team. The match referee is Tony Spreadbury and his team of officials are all Falklands Veterans. The Reverend David Cooper will conduct a short Service of Remembrance prior to a minutes silence before kick-off.
Two well known Falklands Veterans Simon Weston and Ken Hames will be there. Both Simon and Ken will be speaking at the fund raising dinner and Ken will play rugby alongside three other veterans at the start of the game to add to the spirit of the occasion. Alex Payne is the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
On the weekend when the Nation commemorates the achievements of the Falklands Task Force, guests and rugby fans alike are invited to enjoy the entertainment on offer at the Stoop. As well as the action on the pitch, match entertainment will include the Band of HM Royal Marines, the Queens Colour Squadron RAF Regiment and a Scots Guards Piper. And on the Saturday morning, hundreds of children will take part in the Steve Thompson Community Cup Competition; Steve Thompson will present his trophy and Martin Johnson will be there too.
Other players lending their support to the event include Peter Winterbottom, Josh Lewsey, Ian Gough, Mattie Stewart, Eric Peters, Kevin Maggs and Andre Vos.
NEC Harlequins Chief Executive Mark Evans said: "I'm delighted that the Twickenham Stoop is hosting such a prestigious event and hopefully it will raise a good amount of money for a very worthwhile charity. It promises to be a fantastic day of entertainment both on and off the pitch, so I would urge rugby supporters in the Twickenham area to come along."
All are welcome to participate in this memorable and worthwhile event and show our Falklands Veterans that you care.
Tickets are available from just £5 for children and £10 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online from Quins official website or by calling the ticket office on 020 8410 6000.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.