Year 7 student Billy Fincham, a member of Hull City’s Academy Under-12’s, was selected to compete in the qualifiers for the Premier League’s Truce Tournament – a tournament held every December in Ypres, Belgium to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914.

The famous truce saw soldiers from all sides break from hostilities to exchange greetings, gifts and food in a series of impromptu ceasefires which also led to British and German soldiers playing football against each other in no man’s land.

The Truce Tournament’s national qualifiers took place on Remembrance Sunday at three bases for the armed forces around the UK. Billy and the Hull City team played their games at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton where they were up against Under-12 teams from Aston Villa, Blackburn, Burnley, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Stoke, Sunderland and Wolverhampton. Other matches took place at the Army’s Aldershot Garrison and the Navy’s home of physical development, HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth. 

While the Hull City team unfortunately didn’t make it through to the final event, the day was still a memorable occasion for all who took part. 

Billy commented: ‘I felt really honoured and proud to have been chosen to represent Hull City. We unfortunately didn’t do very well in the tournament and didn’t qualify for the finals, but I still feel proud to have been a part of something so important and I really enjoyed the day.’ 

Ahead of the tournament, a short remembrance ceremony took place where a two-minute silence was observed by all teams competing and wreaths were laid by the young players along with serving members of the armed forces.

The Truce Tournament was launched by the Premier League in 2011 to give young players a better understanding of the events that unfolded in the First World War.

ABOVE: Billy Fincham
BELOW: Billy and his team mates from Hull City's Academy Under-12s

 

ABOVE: Wreaths laid by players at the tournament on Sunday 11th November 2016.
BELOW: Players from all teams observe the two minutes silence

ABOVE: Players, supporters and armed forces personnel pay their respects.