Young footballers play in WWI Christmas Truce Tournament

Young footballers from Sunderland and Newcastle have taken part in a special tournament in Belgium marking the centenary of World War One. The Christmas Truce Tournament was inspired by Christmas Day, 1914, when British and German soldiers met in no-man's land to play football.

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Young footballers visit WW1 graves to commemorate Christmas Day truce

Young footballers from Newcastle United and Sunderland visited the mass First World War graves in Belgium to learn about the lives of soldiers.

They were there to play football against other under-12 Premier League sides in a special commemorative tournament.

The event was inspired by the famous Christmas Day truce, 100 years ago, when rival soldiers put their weapons aside to play football for one day.

Jonny Blair reports from Ypres, Belgium.

Remembering the WW1 Christmas truce

Young footballers from Sunderland and Newcastle have just returned from what was, in their own words, the trip of a lifetime.

They were playing in Belgium to mark the centenary of The Great War with other under-12 sides from The Premier League for The Christmas Truce National Tournament.

Held in Ypres, the site of many battles and, now, countless war graves, the three day trip was about testing their football skills but, more importantly, opening their eyes to the horrors of The First World War.

Our reporter Jonny Blair was given full access to the teams and tournament.

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Young footballers commemorate WWI Christmas Truce match

Troops met in no-man's land to play football on Christmas Day 1914 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Young footballers from Sunderland and Newcastle taken part in a special tournament in Belgium marking the centenary of World War One. They joined 18 other Premier League sides in Ypres. As well as playing football, they visited historic sites to learn about the horrors of The Great War.

Sunderland Under 12 players took part Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Christmas Truce Tournament was inspired by Christmas Day, 1914, when British and German soldiers met in no-man's land and bonded through playing football.

Newcastle Under 12 players took part Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

20 under 12s Premier League Teams took part. The tournament was eventually won by Chelsea who, along with runners up Liverpool, will return for the European version of the event in December.

However, it was really all about learning the history and effects of The Great War. Young players visited War Graves at Tyne Cot Cemetery and attended a service at the Menin Gate memorial.

Young footballers laid wreaths at the Menin Gate Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
They visited War Graves laying wreaths Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
One of the sites where a Christmas football match took place, 1914 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Christmas Day football matches took place in several locations in no-man's land Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
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