Naval Air Command footballers keep link with schools
Members of the Naval Air Command Football Team visited Guernsey in the Channel Islands this weekend to compete for the ‘Malaya Cup’ as part of the 70th Anniversary HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne Memorial weekend.
It was also the 50th Anniversary of the fixture which was first competed for in 1963 losing when the Fleet Air Arm footballers lost 2-1 to Guernsey U21’s in a highly competitive match. 26 Naval Air Command Football Veterans travelled across to the Channel Island to compete against a very strong Guernsey Veterans team.
Over recent years, as part of a coaching initiative Naval Air Command Football has developed closer ties with St Martin’s Primary School and once again delivered a fun training session to 90 children as part of their visit. The session as always, was hugely popular and very successful.
The squad were also invited to the Memorial Dinner held at St Pierre Park Hotel and supported the Guernsey Association of Royal Navy and Royal Marines (GARNRM) by holding collections across the Island and in particular at Les Foulons Cemetery during Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Memorial Service.
Naval Air Command Football Chairman Lieutenant Commander Andrew Plenty said: “Community engagement is the key to promoting the Royal Navy and what we do. This weekend is the opportunity for the players who attend to pay their respects to those who were lost during the sinking of HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne in 1943. It is also an opportunity for them to appreciate and experience the responsibilities that come with representing the Armed Forces as sporting ambassadors on and off the field of play. Our link with St Martin’s Primary School is a great way to do this.”
This was also the last fixture to be played under the ‘Naval Air Command’ title. Lt Cdr Plenty goes on to explain: “Our next fixture will be under the new inter-regional structure and therefore we will carry the name of our Fighting Arm, ‘Fleet Air Arm’. We will ensure though that Fleet Air Arm Football continues the strong and valued affiliation with both St Martin’s School and the GARNRM long into the future”