A project undertaken by our U12s has been voted the best in the country and they have now been invited to take part in a prestigious tournament in Belgium.
“We’re so proud,” says Barry Dawson, Head of our Education and Welfare. “We knew the lads had put together a great project, some of the work they did was outstanding, but to be told we had won, well that was fantastic news.
“We had a lot of help from a lot of people and we would like to thank them very much indeed.”
Just over 100 years ago Herbert James Duckworth died of his wounds, aged 24, and was buried in a military grave, alongside 15 other soldiers from WW1, in Eston Cemetery. He was one of many people from the Teesside area that volunteered for the Alexandra, Princess of Wales own (Yorkshire Regiment) and were killed or injured at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
The U12s used Private 24997 HJ Duckworth as a starting point to investigate the Battle of Passchendaele and to remember those soldiers who suffered horrendous injuries and died from them, having been transported home.
This culminated in a small presentation at Rockliffe. First team manager Garry Monk attended, together with staff from the Academy and the rest of the club, alongside two members of the Yorkshire Regiment.
Perhaps most poignantly, however, was the attendance of Eric Taylor, the great nephew of Private Duckworth and who first read about the project in the Sunderland edition of #UTB, our matchday programme.
The prize for the boys is to take part in an international tournament in Belgium in early December.
The Christmas Truce Finals take place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 when Boro will take on Hertha Berlin, Arsenal, Anderlecht, Seattle Sounders and Manchester City in their group, with the semi-finals played the following day.
Prior to the tournament, on the Friday the boys will be given a tour of the Passchendaele Battlefield.