In a short ceremony in the centre circle before the match at the Breyer Group Stadium, representatives from the O’s home shirt charity partner, Tommy Club – part of military charity RBLI – commemorated the three former Leyton Orient players who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country during World War One.
Veterans Steve Hammond, who was injured on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands, and George Bradford, a former Royal Marine aged 91, marked the moment in the centre circle, alongside three Tommies, each named after a former player and produced by RBLI’s factory.
The three Tommies were produced specifically for Leyton Orient to remember the three Clapton Orient players who served in the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment (which became known as the Footballers’ Battalion) and who sadly did not return from the Somme: Sergeant Major Richard McFadden, Private William Jonas, and Private George Scott.
The remembrance fixture supported the Tommy Club, Leyton Orient’s home shirt charity partner that raises money for the RBLI’s work with veterans and people with disabilities. The partnership has been made possible by England captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, who made his professional debut while on loan at Orient.
Harry Kane said:”It was incredibly powerful to see the veterans of the Tommy Club honour the three former Leyton Orient players who lost their lives.
“The support for our veterans provided by the Tommy Club is needed now more than ever. They are changing lives every day and I’m delighted to champion their work supporting those who served our nation.”
George Bradford, a founding partner of the Tommy Club, said: “The three players epitomise the Club’s spirit and it is only right that their sacrifice was marked before the remembrance match.
“The Tommy Club is proud to partner with the Club and highlight the work of RBLI and what it does to improve the lives of the veterans it works with every day across the country. The partnership with Leyton Orient is a win-win for everybody concerned.”
Thanks to the matchday bucket collection, the Tommy Club was able to raise nearly £1,600 for RBLI, which provides employment for veterans and people with disabilities at a factory in Kent, alongside its village offering homes and care accommodation.
Thank you O’s fans for your generous donations and support for the Tommy Club!