Since 2017, Big Ideas have delivered the Education Challenge for the Premier League Christmas Truce Challenge Tournament. Under 12 players from each of the Premier League Academies are invited to take part in an education project, submitting their work to a judging panel to win a place in a football tournament in Ypres, Belgium. Every year European teams come together to commemorate the extraordinary events of 1914 when enemies in the First World War played football in No Man’s Land on Christmas Day.

This year’s theme is the Spirit of the Poppy. Academy teams have been learning about the moving story of Canadian doctor John McCrae who wrote the iconic poem, In Flanders Fields, just outside Ypres following the death of a friend. The poem gave us the poppy, used as a symbol of remembrance which is recognised around the world today. John McCrae himself died of pneumonia while serving in a field hospital near Calais. He is buried in Wimereux, France. 

The young players were asked to think about the medical community: ambulance drivers, nurses, stretcher bearers, the doctors, including John McCrae, who put their lives on the line to care for soldiers on the front line. For their three challenges each academy was asked to respond to John McCrae’s poem, design their own poppy and to give back to their communities in the ‘Spirit of the Poppy’ by taking social action.

This year we received 25 outstanding entries from academies across the country, the highlights film and Legacy Books provide an insight into the exceptional work submitted by these young players. 

Watch the final video above and scroll down to view the Legacy Book.