Watch the highlights film from the 2021 Truce Challenge

Each year the Christmas Truce Challenge gives Premier League academy teams an opportunity to earn their place at the PL’s flagship U12s tournament through their WW1 education project. The theme for 2021 was football and friendship with a bumper year for U12 and U13 academy teams as a result of pandemic postponement of the 2020 tournament.

Clubs were challenged to learn about the Christmas Truce of 1914 and to make new friends through football in the spirit of the original truce. 

Dozens of Premier League academy groups took part in Truce workshops to prepare for their Challenge projects. They learnt about the events of 1914 from original sources including letters, photographs and diaries and they discovered their club’s First World War heritage before developing ideas on the theme of football and friendship for their projects.

Black and white archive photograph of the Christmas Truce taken across a muddy field on Christmas day 1914 shows men meeting in no man’s land.

“You can use activities like this to educate the boys on things bigger than football. We come together and we sit here to show that there are some things that are bigger than one of these rivalries in football and that is the Christmas Truce.” –  Wayne Cahill (Manchester United Academy staff)

25 outstanding projects were submitted from club academies. With a limited number of places available to qualify for the tournament, the judging process was extremely difficult. 

The Christmas Truce of 1914 was one of the most remarkable events of World War One. Enemies laid down their weapons to sing carols, exchange gifts and even play impromptu games of football in No Man’s Land in the fields around Ypres.

Congratulations to the successful teams:

Norwich and Watford secured the two places at the tournament on offer for the Under 12s Truce finals.  

Leicester, Manchester City, Norwich, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, and Wolverhampton Wanderers went through to the Under 13s Truce finals.