PLANS are taking shape for a commemorative football match in Dorchester to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Dorchester Town Football Club will be welcoming an Army side to the Avenue Stadium on December 10 with a short service with carols before the game.
The evening is designed to reflect events 100 years ago when English and German troops put down their arms at Christmas to sing carols and play a game of football.
The event was the brainchild of Dorchester Town FC’s community director Allen Knott and will raise funds for two Army charities, Blesma (The British Limbless Ex-Serve Men’s Association) and Combat Stress.
With the event four months away, planning is in its early stages but there are already moves to invite a military band and military wives’ choir to perform on the night.
The Army is getting heavily involved with the planning process and will be bringing a side featuring troops from the Armour Centre at Bovington, 6 Rifles, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and the Signal Regiment at Blandford.
So the Magpies will be taking on a team featuring the best the military across Dorset and Devon has to offer.
Mr Knott said he came up with the idea after having a discussion with the football club’s chaplain Paul Taylor about some sort of memorial event to mark the centenary of the Great War.
He said: “I watched a television programme which reminded me about the truce between the English and German troops where they came out and sang Silent Night and played football.
“That was the germ of the idea.
“It seemed to me it would be a good idea to commemorate the First World War in this way to remember those who gave their lives and to concentrate our minds on the fact that even in that terrible situation there were moments of peace, which for me is a very powerful thought.”
Mr Knott said that the main aim of the night was to raise as much as possible for two very worthy causes and he hoped as many local people as possible will come out and support it.
He said: “It would be good to involve the whole community as much as we can as we are fast approaching community status.”
Dorchester Town Council has already expressed a willingness to support the event, with Mayor of Dorchester Peter Mann likely to attend along with other local dignitaries.
Tickets are likely to go on sale around October.