The Royal Navy and Plymouth Argyle joined forces to commemorate Armistice Day today at the club’s ground.
The Pilgrims’ management and players stood shoulder to shoulder with representatives of the senior service on the pitch before training at Home Park.
Royal Navy chaplain Ralph Barber recited a prayer at 11am, Argyle captain Luke McCormick laid a wreath, handed to him by Royal Naval Warrant Officer 1 Zac Newton, of HM Naval Base, Devonport, on the centre spot in memory of West Country military men and women who have died in the service of their country.
The wreath-laying was followed by the Last Post and an observance of the traditional two minutes’ silence. Also in the ceremonial party from Devonport Naval Base were Sergeant Richard Davies and Leading Seaman Mark Lethaby.
Football league clubs across the country paid tribute at the same time, including Portsmouth FC who visit Plymouth to take on Argyle on Saturday – this is the ‘Pilgrims’ annual Armed Services Day match which will be dedicated to the armed forces.
Luke said: “Today’s wreath-laying is important to both clubs, especially as we are both Navy towns. Saturday’s match is also a big occasion for us. The football and the military play a vital role in both town’s lives. There is, of course, traditionally intense rivalry between the two clubs and this makes for a special match.’’
Among events planned for the match, which will be attended by dignitaries from all of the armed services, include a first-ever Home Park appearance from the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth, and an eye-catching pre-match tribute from fans of both teams.