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VE Day 75: Football Remembers WWII

8 May 2020

Academy players from Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle will be featured as part of three new Football Remembers films released to mark 75 years since VE Day.

The films, which also feature academy players from Southampton, are the latest in a number of videos to be released for Football Remembers WWII, a partnership from the Premier League’s education programme and Big Ideas, supported by EFL Clubs. 

The players interviewed WWII veterans who also played professionally for their respective teams.

Bristol Rovers Academy players met with Josser Watling, who served in the Royal Navy during World War II and was part of the Russian convoy delivering essential supplies to the Soviet Union in dreadful conditions.

After the war, Josser signed for Bristol Rovers and devoted his entire career to the Club making 323 league appearances. Football Remembers helped Josser apply for his Arctic Star medal which he earned in recognition of his service on the Arctic Convoys. Josser has recently received the medal and is looking forward to sharing photos when lockdown lifts.

Plymouth Argyle Academy met with Gordon Astall, who played for Argyle, Birmingham City, Torquay United and England during his career. During the war he served in the Royal Marines and was stationed in Plymouth. Today, Gordon is living with dementia but he still enjoys talking about football.

The third film released also features Southampton academy players meeting Arthur House, who played in goal for the Club during World War II. Arthur served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. While on service he injured his arm, ending all hopes of a return to football after the war. Arthur passed away on 28 July 2019.

Earlier this year, Football Remembers also released a film of Watford Academy players interviewing Tony Collins and the video will once again be available to view.

Tony signed for Watford twice and also played for Crystal Palace. He went on to become the first black-heritage manager in the EFL at Rochdale and spent the latter part of his career as a scout for Manchester United and England, amongst others.

Everyone is encouraged to get involved by sharing a message for the World War Two veterans either using the hashtag #FootballRemembers, #VEDay75 or #GetInTouch, or by uploading on the Big Ideas page:

Further Football Remembers WWII films will be released to mark VJDay75 and Remembrance Sunday later this year.

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