This year, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) has been further unearthing the games’ rich history unveiling the commitment members of local clubs made during the First World War.
NNSWF committed to honouring the selfless contribution of the 100’s of brave, young footballers from the Hunter Region who served so proudly in the First World War, through researching and documenting their experiences.
Northern NSW Football CEO, David Eland said, “our studies so far, have shown much of Australia’s football history lies forgotten.”
“It has shown the game’s role in military history was undocumented. Within the Newcastle region alone more than 60% of local football players enlisted during the First World War, left depleted numbers of teams competing in a competition of football during this time.
“Northern NSW Football will continue the project throughout the year, to continue discovering our historical football heritage,” Eland concluded.
Players who served in First World War were identified from a number of key local clubs including Adamstown, Merewether, Maitland, Weston, West Wallsend and Cessnock.
Today, as we pay our respects to those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms that we enjoy, NNSWF was represented by last years’ Men’s and Women’s Premier Competition Grand Final Winner sides, Lambton Jaffas and Merewether United.
Ryan Griffiths and Lori Depczynski laid a wreath at Civic Park, Newcastle, this morning paying their respects on behalf of the NNSWF region.
NNSWF worked with Premier Competition Teams within the National Premier League (NPL) NNSW and NEWFM Northern League One to host special ceremonies to show their respects on game days.
Whilst not being held on the traditional date 25 April, NNSW Premier Clubs paid their respects on the weekend prior to ANZAC Day.
In the NPL NNSW, Adamstown Rosebud hosted Broadmeadow Magic and held a stunning ceremony which included the reading of the Ode, playing of the last post, a minutes silence, playing of rouse and the Australian National Anthem. Cessnock hosted West Wallsend and paid their respects with a minutes silence.
The commemorations continue this coming weekend when Maitland will host Hamilton (NPL NNSW) Match of the Round and will be holding a traditional ceremony to show their respects to our soldiers, as well.
Jeremiah Arthur “Bull” Jennings was just one of the hundreds of brave young footballers who enlisted in the First World War. His remarkable story was brought to life at NNSWF’s Men’s Premier Competitions Launch through a brilliant monologue performed by local actor Theo Rule and written by Peter King.