Consett AFC and Billingham Town remember the fallen with the help of a Highland piper before their last pre-lockdown match

Consett’s game against Billingham Town last night was their last before the Government-enforced Lockdown Mk II, which will last until at least 2 December.

That means it was the last opportunity for the club and its supporters to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives for their country in two world wars and all conflicts since then.

In a departure from the usual wreath-laying and two-minute silence, which traditionally takes place on the matchday nearest Remembrance Day, the Consett players were piped onto the field last night by a Highland piper.

Forces veteran Jamie Swainston, from County Durham, played a lament and the hymn Amazing Grace before both teams and the 150 paying spectators who are allowed under current Durham FA rules observed a minute’s silence.

At half-time, the piper did a lap of the pitch, and supporters made generous donations to help make up for income he has lost due to wedding and funeral bookings which have had to be cancelled due to pandemic restrictions.

He said on his Twitter account @GlenSpirit afterwards that it was “an absolute honour and privilege to lead the team out onto the pitch and piped for the fallen.”

The local branch of the Royal British Legion also had a representative present, selling poppies for this year’s Poppy Appeal.

  • Please note that Belle View Stadium will be closed from tonight until December 2, with no matches, training or pitch hire allowed to take place.

Gary Welford