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Playing for peace

NEXT month a team from Newark will travel to Belgium to represent the town at a very special football match to mark the centenary of the end of the first world war.

The Armistice Game will be played in Ypres, scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the conflict, between Newark Town’s Sunday side and a team from Newark’s German twin town of Emmendingen.

Fittingly, it will take place on Armistice Day ­— on November 11.

It follows a similar match, four years ago, that remembered the famous Christmas Day truce on the front-line when English and German soliders played a football match ­in no-man’s land in 1914 — possibly witnessed by Newark soldier William Setchfield.

This time, however, the match will remember more than the fallen soldiers.

It is also a fitting memorial to former mayor, teacher and keen sportsman Chris Grant, who died last year.

A keen historian, he accompanied the team on that trip four years ago, sharing his knowledge with others and would surely have made the trip to Ypres too.

There is no doubt this match is an apt tribute to the hugely popular figure.

It will be played at a time when first world war commemorations will be taking place across the country, and indeed the world, as the fallen are remembered.

But this football match is worthy of widespread recognition, and its organisers deserve much credit.

Good luck to all those making the trip. You are sure to do us proud.

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