WARRINGTON outfit Crosfields will host their eighth successive Armed Forces festival on Saturday (24 June) as part of nationwide Armed Forces Day celebrations.
The Soap, who launched the initiative in 2010 in homage to their former player Thomas Sephton, a member of the Mercian Regiment, who was killed in action that year in Afghanistan, will stage three games on Saturday.
An Army Rugby League Academy side will take on the Royal Marines at 11.30am, and the Airborne Forces of the Parachute Regiment meet the RAF Academy at 1.30pm.
And the festival will draw to a close at 3.30pm when Crosfields’ Open Age team, which operates in the Kingstone Press Cider National Conference League’s Second Division, goes head-to-head with the Army.
The Soap’s Joe Moore has played in all seven of the Memorial games to date and reflected: “The way the event’s grown, from playing in front of a few hundred friends and family to over 4,000 people, where it’s three and four deep around the pitch, is a scary prospect for some of the lads.
“Until you line up for that minute’s silence for the first time you don’t realise just what this game and Armed Forces Day means to so many people, not just in Warrington, but across the whole of the UK.
“It really is an honour to be a part of it.”
The day will include Armed Forces stands, stalls and activities including an Inflatable Assault Course, Rifle Ranges, military vehicles and displays, while the Armed Forces Veterans and charities such as State of Mind, RLCares and the Steve Prescot Foundation will also be involved.
There will, in addition, be Rugby League activity stands and stalls, a raffle, tombola and inflatables.
Star Super League players will be in attendance and the legendary Crosfields Masters side will man the BBQ, while five bars will be in operation.
The gates open at 10.30am and entry is free, as is parking, while there are free gifts for children.