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Mayor unveils plaque twinning Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre with WWI peace site

Posted on - 13th July, 2022 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Education, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Sport, UCLan
Pic: Pete Mason

The Mayor of Preston has unveiled a plaque commemorating the Peace Field Project, twinning a local sports centre with a Belgian WWI truce site.

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On Saturday, 9 July at 10am, the Mayor of Preston, Councillor Neil Darby, unveiled a plaque linking the Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre at UCLan Sports Arena, Tom Benson Way, with designated areas of play at the Flanders Peace Field in Mesen, Belgium.

The Sir Tom Finney Peace Field Plaque is the result of a partnership between the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre, The Sir Tom Finney FC and UCLan.

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Pic: Pete Mason

In the week leading up to Christmas 1914, German, British and allied soldiers stopped fighting to sing festive songs.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, some ventured into no man’s land to exchange gifts and play games of football, and today, the truce is remembered as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity.

As part of an initiative by the National Children’s Football Alliance, there are 58 peace pitches across five continents in countries including the USA, Argentina, Ghana, Israel and Australia.

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Pic: Pete Mason

In the UK, a partnership has been formed with three other Peace Field projects – George Best (Belfast), Denis Law (Aberdeen), Duncan Edwards (Dudley) and now Sir Tom Finney (Preston)

The football teams representing each will play in the Peace Field Tournament at the Dell Stadium in Dudley each year.

The International peace project twins designated areas of play with Flanders Peace Field, the site of the 1914 First World War Christmas Truces, Mesen, Flanders, Belgium.

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Pic: Pete Mason

The Children’s Football Alliance’s International Peace Field Project connects a network of schools, clubs, teams, organisations, partners, charities, NGOs, volunteers, educationalists, facilitators, practitioners, peacemakers, community leaders and everyday people.

The CFA’s contemporary mission protects childhood through play, and the Peace Field Project commemorates wars and celebrates peace. 

A designated Peace Field is an area of play – a monument to peace.

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