First World War recruitment poster for footballers

The National Football Museum is joining with us to tell the forgotten stories of players and fans during the First World War.

In 2015, it created The Greater Game exhibition: Football and The First World War to tell people how footballers swapped touchlines for trenches to fight for their country. The sheer scale of sacrifice is unimaginable in today’s world.

The Greater Game explored the role football played both at home and at the front during the war years. This included the continuation of football at the start of the war and the controversy of the 1914/15 season and the rise of the women's game. The exhibition explored the myths and reality of famous stories from the conflict, ranging from the FA Cup winner killed just days before the end of war to the soldier injured in battle who fought back to become England captain.

In partnership with the Woodland Trust, The National Football Museum hopes to take The Greater Game to the mass football audience and create a living and digital legacy to remember the sacrifices made by footballers on the frontline and the home front.

During and after the conflict, trees were planted in remembrance, marking the loss of life and the sacrifices made. This is why the National Football Museum feels strongly that it should continue this tradition and create a living and growing legacy as a fitting tribute to football’s involvement that people can experience.

Even if you do not support an individual club, you can still donate to the National Football Museum appeal.