Hartlepool United lead the way in backing our armed forces

Pools chairman Cary Coxall

Pools chairman Cary Coxall

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Hartlepool United will tomorrow become the first football club in the country to receive an award for backing the country's armed forces.

The club will receive the coveted Bronze Award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme at tomorrow's match with Newport County at Victoria Park.

The prestigious award comes after the club confirmed a statement of intent to support defence personnel and will underline that commitment by signing an Armed Forces Covenant.

Prior to the game, Chairman Gary Coxall will sign the Covenant - which cements the club’s dedication to serving personnel, both regular and reservists, veterans and military families.

Mr Coxall will be joined on the pitch just before kick-off by Colonel Steve Hopper, who is Assistant Commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade, Lt Col Andy Black, WO2 Mark Hill, Councillor Allan Barclay and Mayor Rob Cook to celebrate the signing of the document.

Mr Coxall said: “To be the first club in the country to be given the Bronze Award is a fantastic honour for everyone connected with Hartlepool United.

“We have looked to work closely with the Armed Forces in the past and will continue to do so in the future because we recognise what important work they do for us all.

“We’re delighted to welcome our honoured guests this weekend as we sign the Covenant, and we would like to thank the Reserves Forces’ and Cadets Associations for their help along the way.”

The signing of the covenant commits the football club to upholding the values of the Armed Forces, supporting and promoting their work, and sharing the fact that Pools are a forces-friendly organisation.

Now that Pools have received the Bronze Award as part of the employer recognition scheme, it opens the door for the club to aim for the Silver Award over the next 12 months.

Pools fans will have their chance to show their support for the Armed Forces when a collection take place around the ground prior to kick off.