SWINDON Town footballers who gave their today for the tomorrow of the club’s current crop will be forever remembered with a new plaque above the players’ tunnel.

Yesterday, the club finally unveiled the new memorial made with public donations, which lists the 15 County Ground men who lost their lives across World Wars One and Two.

The bronze monument is the result of a long period of fundraising by club historian Dick Mattick, who began with a project to restore the grave of Town’s longest-serving manager Sam Allen.

“I’m very pleased this has come together to commemorate those sacrifices made,” said Dick.

“We join many other football clubs in recognising the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.

“I would like to thank all of those who contributed. After the initial article in the Advertiser, there were a number of people who came forward.”

More than £1,000 was raised in donations from the public for Sam’s grave, and a remaining £300 was put towards the new County Ground project.

At a cost of £900, with £600 from new donations following previous Adver stories, Deacon and Son jewellers in Old Town created the plaque.

“We wanted the robin on there as an emblem of Swindon Town, but you are always a little nervous that it might come out looking like a swan or something, but Deacon’s has done a good job,” Dick said.

The memorial will fill the gap left by a similar monument to those who died in the war which went missing when the Arkell’s stand was built in the 1970s.

Dick is still trying to pursue one donor from the USA, who put up £500 himself, though his location remains a mystery.

Town unveiled the plaque with manager Mark Cooper, players Wes Foderingham, Massimo Luongo, Louis Thompson and Nathan Thompson, and Swindon Town Supporters’ Trust vice chairman Mike Welsh.

Mark said: “It’s important we remember the players that lost their lives. They were our players, some of them were a little older and some didn’t get a chance to flourish.

“They are part of the football club, part of our history. The current players have shown an interest and it’s good.”

Mike added: “We were delighted to assist Dick on this. One of the themes of the Trust is to recognise the town’s past, present and future.

“It’s important the children growing up in the town have an understanding of the past and this will be a fitting tribute.

“The men and women involved in the effort and supporting the conflict should be remembered and it is vital a football club is a part of that.

“The 3,500 in the Stratton Bank on Saturday were showing the club and fans great respect for the players who gave their lives.”

Never to be forgotten

Players lost in World War One: 
George Bathe 1890-1915 (First Battalion Wiltshire Regiment), Arthur Beadsworth 1876-1917 (Seventh Battalion Leicestershire Regiment), William Arthur Brewer 1893-1914 (Wilts Regiment), James Chalmers 1877-1915 (Royal Scots Fusiliers), William Kirby 1882-1917 (Sixth Battalion Royal Engineers), Reginald William Menham 1897-1917 (Coldstream Guards), Albert Milton 1885-1917 (64th Brigade Royal Field Artillery), Edward Murphy 1881-1915 (First North Staffordshire Regiment), Harold Victor Warren 1893-1918 (Royal Army Service Corps), Frederick George Wheatcroft 1882-1917 (Fifth Battalion East Surrey Regiment).

Players lost in World War Two: 
William Bryan 1912-1944 (Dorset Regiment), Alan Fowler 1911-1944 (Fourth Dorset Regiment), William Noble Imrie 1908-1944 (Fifth Battalion Coldstream Guards), James Ferd Olney 1914-1944 (Fifth Battalion Coldstream Guards), Albert Elystan Edgar Powell 1908-1940 (34th Signal Training Regiment).