Wales football superstar Gareth Bale supports the Royal British Legion’s sport Remembers campaign in a bid to commemorate sportsmen who serve the country.
The Real Madrid forward joined Wales national team boss Chris Coleman and Wales senior team captain Ashley Williams on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The trio were pictured holding a picture of Leigh Roose – a former Wales shot stopper.
Roose was instrumental in the change of football laws before he lost his life whilst in active service in World War One. Roose had a lot of influence and he joined the 9th Royal Fusiliers in the summer of 1916 aged 38. He was serving at the Battle of Somme where he died on October 7, 1916.
The late goalkeeper, of Wrexham nativity, is one of the first celebrity footballers. He had a habit of bouncing the ball with his hands up as far as the halfway line. It used to infuriate the Football Association. The laws were changed because of him in 1912, making it legitimate for goalkeepers.
The Sport Remembers is a campaign that commemorates sportsmen that encompass football players, tennis players, Olympians, rugby stars, and cricketers who sacrificed their lives for the country’s sake.
“It is important that we stand together as a team and as a country to commemorate the role of our former footballers and sportspeople at the battle of Somme. We will never forget the sacrifice people at all levels of the game made and we’re proud to play our part in The Royal British Legion’s Sport Remembers campaign,” Coleman said of the initiative.
Bale joined in saying that he was “proud to support the campaign and commemorate the footballers who made the ultimate sacrifice for us” while the chaplain to The Royal British Legion Nigel McCulloch added that “the battle of the Somme is the costliest in British history.”