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Saturday's Game Is Poppy Launch

30 October 2013

STFC launch Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Shrewsbury Town will again stand shoulder to shoulder with the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal as they launch this year's campaign at Saturday's home match against Sheffield United. 

A number of local heroes including Nick Beighton, Corporal Ricky Furgusson and Rifleman Ben Taylor will be at the Greenhous Meadow to watch the game against the Blades.

Every poppy sold helps raise the £1.6 million needed by the Legion each week to deliver direct, practical care and support for those in need. This adds up to an annual spend of over £83m. 

Martin James, head of community development at Shrewsbury Town, said: "The Legion places great emphasis in supporting, not only present and past members of the British Armed Forces, but also their families. 

"Families are at the heart of the 2013 Poppy Appeal and, as we pride ourselves as being a family friendly club, we are proud to be able to promote and support this fantastic cause."

It is planned that Saturday's matchball will be delivered on the Greenhous Meadow pitch, together with a wreath, by a helicopter from nearby RAF Shawbury shortly before kick off.

Martin added: "We would urge all supporters and people of Shropshire to make a donation and wear their poppy with pride to show support for our Armed Forces and their families who are the focus of the 2013 Poppy Appeal."   

There will also be a host of notable Poppy Appeal guests at the game including a number of our local heroes. 

The guest list includes Nick Beighton, 32, who joined the Royal Engineers in 2006 after commissioning from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Prior to this he gained a 2:1 Hons degree in Natural Environmental Science from the University of Sheffield. 

His first tour was at 28 Engineer Regiment in Hameln, Germany, as a close support Troop Commander and with whom he deployed to Afghanistan in August 2009.

On October 5, 2009 he was severely injured in an IED blast and subsequently lost both of his legs above the knee.

After a lengthy rehabilitation process, he began learning to row and was selected to represent Great Britain in the Trunk and Arms Mix Double Scull at the London Paralympic, where he and his rowing partner, Sam Scowan, finished fourth, only 0.21seconds outside of a medal.

Nick is taking a break from rowing to rediscover his other passions in life and has recently been rock climbing, sailing, skiing, sea kayaking and snowboarding. He is also going to be a father for the first time in January. 

Corporal Ricky Furgusson, from Telford, was severely wounded whilst saving the lives of other soldiers around him. He was awarded the Military Cross and demonstrates the leadership qualities that others look for.  

He is a superb role model to all and others look to him for inspiration. A born and bred local soldier, he has remained incredibly positive even in times of adversity. He is extremely proud of his home county. 
His relentless enthusiasm and energy has been recognised nationally and regionally - he epitomises the Armed Forces, its values and standards. 

Rifleman Ben Taylor, born in Shrewsbury, is a past pupil of the town's Martin Wilson Primary School in Castlefields and Sundorne Secondary School.   

Ben joined the Army Reserve on May 12, 2009. He passed the Combat Infantryman’s Course later that year and subsequently passed the Potential Junior NCO Course in August 2011.

In 2013, whilst in Afghanistan, Rifleman Taylor displayed immense physical courage and risked his own life whilst rescuing his colleagues.  

He unfortunately suffered a number of injuries that forced him to be returned to the UK. He has been awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Also in attendance will be Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler who is commanding officer of the 143 Brigade in the West Midlands and Lieutenant Colonel Spencer Bull who commands the Personnel Recovery Unit which cares for all wounded, injured and sick personnel in the West Midlands.

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