Wolves’ Championship fixture with Brighton tomorrow is the club’s annual Armed Forces Day, with several activities taking place to mark the contribution of our Armed Forces.
As with previous seasons, the club are keen to honour the work of the Armed Forces whilst also remembering those who have lost their lives or been injured in conflict.
Guest of honour at Molineux will be Sapper Clive Smith, aged 27, who lost his legs while serving with the 33 Engineer Regiment in Afghanistan two years ago.
Clive, a lifelong Wolves supporter, has shown remarkable courage and resilience to learn to walk again using artificial limbs, and was chosen to be the face of this year’s Royal British Legion’s National Poppy Appeal.
Clive suffered his injuries thanks to coming into contact with an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan.
“It was on my second tour of duty in Helmand Province and I was lead man in a search patrol for Improvised Explosive Devices,” said Clive.
“And I found one, albeit via an unconventional method – I stepped on it!
“It blew my legs off and I’m a double-above-knee amputee.
"I was conscious throughout the whole thing and if it wasn't for the rest of the lads who were in my section I wouldn't be here.
"They kept me alive through that before I was transferred back to the field hospital at Camp Bastion, where I was put into an induced coma and flown back to Birmingham.
“If this had happened to me 15 or 20 years ago I don't think the support networks would have been as well funded as they are now, but it's really helped me get back on track.
"That's down to the public's generosity through things like the poppy appeal and it's a great honour to be involved with it."
Clive visited the Compton training ground earlier this week to meet the players and was interviewed by our own George Elokobi for a feature being shown on the Wolves' website and around the concourses on match day.
He and friend and fellow Wolves supporter Steve Green, formerly of the RAF until suffering a serious motorcycle accident, also had their photographs taken with the players and the poppy embroidered home shirts being worn by the team tomorrow.
As in previous years these shirts will be individually signed by the players and auctioned off via Wolves Community Trust’s Ebay site with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. Keep an eye on www.wolves.co.uk for details.
The Royal British Legion will also be collecting in and around Molineux tomorrow so supporters are encouraged to give as generously as they can.
Clive meanwhile will deliver the match ball to the centre circle prior to kick off.
Representatives of the Armed Forces from the 210 Battery Royal Artillery, Grenadier Guards, 4 Mercian and 3 Mercian regiments will provide a Guard of Honour as the players come out.
These regiments have seen service all over the world including in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Wolves have also invited 21 children who have a parent or parents away on active duty to be on the pitch as bugler and former RAF Sergeant Brian Hughes plays the Last Post prior during a minute’s silence ahead of kick off.
“We are absolutely delighted to be involved in the Armed Services day at Molineux,” said Lance Bombardier Scott Brooks, a TA liaison officer with the 210 Battery Royal Artillery based in Wolverhampton.
“It is fantastic the families of our military personnel, some of which are or have served all over the world including Iraq and Afghanistan, are involved in the day too as very often they are the ones who are forgotten.”
Wolves are delighted to welcome all our military visitors tomorrow and hope they enjoy the game.
TO VIEW GEORGE ELOKOBI'S FEATURE INTERVIEW WITH CLIVE, CLICK HERE OR HERE.