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The Poetry Society & Barclays Premier League:

In autumn 2014 the Poetry Society began an exciting new collaboration with Barclays Premier League to help young footballers mark the hundred-year anniversary of the Christmas truce.

Poets Simon BarracloughSteve ElyChris McCabeNick Makoha and Deanna Rodger accompanied Under-12 teams from the Premier League clubs to Ypres, Belgium, where as they took part in an annual football tournament to honour the truce that took place on the Western Front in December 1914. The poets helped the young players to reflect on their visit, and shape these experiences into poems.

All of these poems were then passed on to Ian McMillan, commissioned to produce a new poem The Game: Christmas Day, 1914 to mark the centenary; based on words, themes and ideas from the young footballers.

On Christmas Eve, the Premier League launched a video of a host of top Premiership footballers reading the poem aloud. A total of 17 famous faces from within the game, including former referee Howard Webb and Millwall manager Ian Holloway, have now lent their voices to it for the video. Find out more HERE