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Saturday, October 24, 1998 Published at 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK


Sport: Football

Football remembers the fallen

Fans remember the victims of war

Thousands of football fans at professional matches in England and Wales have observed a brief silence to mark the launch of the 1998 Poppy Appeal.


Des Lynam: Urged fans to help ex-servicemen in need
A recorded message from BBC Match of the Day presenter Des Lynam was played before the kick-off at League and Premiership matches on Friday and Saturday, followed by a short silence to remember the war dead.

Lynam has taken over from the Spice Girls and Dame Vera Lynn to launch this year's appeal.

Last year, Dame Vera teamed up with the band to promote the campaign for ex-servicemen, women and their families, which raised a record total of 17.3m.

The Premier League and the Football League agreed that all English professional clubs could take part in the launch.

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, will join the prime minister on Monday for the official nationwide launch at Downing Street.

Secretary General of the Royal British Legion, Ian Townsend, said: "Following last year's highly successful Poppy Appeal, launched in a wave of publicity by the Spice Girls and Dame Vera Lynn, we're thrilled to have the support of our football clubs as we launch this year's appeal.


[ image: Lynam: Launched this year's Poppy Appeal]
Lynam: Launched this year's Poppy Appeal
"Without doubt, 1998 has been a football year."

The first recorded message was played shortly before the kick-off of Bristol City's match against Bolton at Ashton Gate on Friday.

Before the silence, Lynam told the crowd: "You may want to remember those who gave their lives for their country in two world wars and other conflicts.

"Most of you in the crowd will have a member of your family who was involved.

"But since this is a football Poppy Appeal launch, you may choose to remember in silence and pray for the victims of Munich, the Heysel Stadium, Hillsborough and other football tragedies."





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