On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Bristol Rovers players from the past and the present came together as part of the #FootballRemembers campaign.
Bristol Rovers academy players Josh Bailey and Scott Isherwood have been featured as part of three new Football Remembers films released to mark 75 years since VE Day, filmed last year.
The films, which also feature academy players from other clubs, are the latest in a number of videos to be released for Football Remembers WWII, a partnership from the Premier League’s education programme and Big Ideas, supported by EFL clubs.
Bailey and Isherwood met with Josser Watling, who served in the Royal Navy during World War II and was part of the Russian convoy delivering essential supplies to the Soviet Union in dreadful conditions.
On the opportunity to meet Josser, Josh Bailey said: "Being able to spend time in the presence of someone like Josser Watling was the most humbling experience of my life. To have the opportunity to sit down with someone who shares my love for football but with a very different life story was something I will never forget.
"Josser recounting stories of his time serving In the second world war and playing for Bristol Rovers was amazing. His wisdom and warm presence allowed for a wonderful afternoon spent together. He truly is a hero and someone who I have the highest level of respect for; not just respect for what he's done but for who he continues to be."
After the war, Josser signed Bristol Rovers and devoted his entire career to the Club making 323 league appearances. Football Remembers helped Josser apply for his Arctic Star medal which he earned in recognition of his service on the Arctic Convoys. Josser has recently received the medal and is looking forward to sharing photos when lockdown lifts.
The video was filmed in March 2019.
Everyone is encouraged to get involved by sharing a message for the World War Two veterans either using the hashtag #FootballRemembers #VEDay75 #GetInTouch or by uploading on the Big Ideas page: https://www.big-ideas.org/current-projects/football-remembers-wwii-at-home/
Further Football Remembers WWII films will be released to mark VJDay75 and Remembrance Sunday later this year.