BURY St Edmunds Football Club is pushing hard to get as many people as possible to attend what could be one of the most emotional matches staged at Ram Meadow.
The opponents will be Wootton Bassett FC, based in the Wiltshire town which has become famous for turning out to mark servicemen sadly being repatriated from the battlefields of Afghanistan and other conflict zones.
All proceeds from the match, on Saturday, July 16, 3pm, will go to Help For Heroes charity, with any service personnel in uniform being admitted free.
And as a gesture of goodwill, Bury Town FC is paying for a coach to bring Wootton Bassett’s players, management, club officials and supporters to the game.
“It would be brilliant if as many people from the club as possible could make the long journey to East Anglia,” says the club.
Wootton Bassett play in the Hellenic League, at the same level as Thetford, Stowmarket and Team Bury, and will give local fans an opportunity to see the new Blues squad in action in the first home friendly.
It has been brought about because Bury vice-chairman Adrian Lewis’ company, main sponsor Frames Conservatories Direct, has among its suppliers one involving Chris Jones, chairman of Wootton Bassett.
Armed Forces representatives were contacting military bases to invite as many personnel as possible to make a show at the friendly, where other adults will pay £5 admission, or £3 for concessions. It is hoped to get a military band.
“We are pushing hard to get as many people as we can,” said Mr Lewis.
Wootton Bassett is the first town in 100 years to get a ‘Royal’ title to reward residents who turn out when hearses travel from nearby RAF Lyneham. That ends in December when planes will again fly into RAF Brize Norton, 31 miles away.