Sawley Gators Football Club were awarded £3,000 from the Heritage Lottery to fund their project to educate their young people on the Great War by visiting World War 1 battlefields.
Gators under-12s travelled to Belgium and France to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War along with parents and grandparents. During their visit the team played a commemorative match against US Ploegsteert (which during the war was known to British soldiers as Plug Street) to mark the famous wartime Christmas truce game in which soldiers from both sides came together and played football in ‘no man’s land.’ Later during their stay they visited the battlefield of Vimy Ridge and the French town of Arras.
The children attended the daily remembrance service at the Menin Gate as guests of the Last Post Association and laid poppy wreaths to honour those from Sawley, Long Eaton, Castle Donington and Aston-on-Trent who gave their lives, yet still have no marked grave. Wreaths had been given to them by the mayor of Erewash, Councillor Kewal Singh Athwa and also from Derby County Foo9tball Club. The wreath from Erewash was laid at the Menin Gate and the Derby County wreath at the grave of player Reg Callender in Armentieres, France.