We were delighted to present Erskine with a handwritten version of The Poppy, written by the poet Paul Hunter, the poem was illustrated by his wife Shiela and was unveiled by Erskine Chief Executive Wing Commander Ian Cumming and Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson. We had two originals produced and Erskine presented one to Rangers as a thank you for the funds raised by the Rangers support.
Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson is presented with a token of gratitude from Erskine chief executive Wing Commander Ian Cumming, in the form of a unique illustration of the poem ‘The Poppy’, following fundraising efforts of over £1 million from the club’s supporters.
The pair are joined by poet Paul Hunter, who penned the moving piece in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, his wife Sheila, who beautifully illustrated Paul’s work, as well as Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal (RSEA) secretary Tom Clark.
The charity has gifted the memento to the Ibrox side as a thank you to the club’s support since RSEA fundraising efforts began in 2007.
The RSEA also presented a second illustration of the poem to Erskine, to mark more than £1 million being raised by the group for the Veterans’ charity, which was unveiled inside its Bishopton care home.
Paul’s poem passionately speaks of what the poppy means, while serving as a heartfelt reminder that we must never forget fallen Veterans.
RSEA, the brainchild of Rangers fan Tom, was launched to raise vital funds for Erskine’s specialist care of Veterans and their families. The group have since contributed to countless projects for residents living in Erskine’s four care homes, including a Sporting Memories room, Reminiscence room, Namaste room and Bridge Activities room.
Tom Clark, RSEA secretary, said: “We view Paul’s poem as a fitting gift following years of fundraising as it epitomises everything that we do for Erskine. We are here to help support our nation’s heroes – servicemen and women who deserve to be honoured following years of service protecting each and every one of us. It is fantastic to see representatives of Erskine, Rangers and the RSEA all together to unveil and gift these poems, as we continue to work together to support this worthy cause.”
Paul Hunter said: “My wife, Sheila, and I are both delighted and truly honoured to see our work unveiled inside the home and also presented as a gift to Rangers. We have been long admirers of the RSEA’s fundraising efforts for Erskine, and it is with great pleasure to see the poem continue to resonate with so many. The Poppy was written to serve as a reminder as to why the poppy exists, and why we should continue to honour our fallen heroes. We just want it to be seen for what it was intended, simply as a badge of honour and respect.”
Stewart Robertson, Rangers Managing Director, said: “The hard-work and endeavour of the Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal is a credit to our entire support. Reaching over £1 million in fundraising efforts is a stunning achievement and all for a fantastic charity. Erskine goes above and beyond to ensure that our ex-servicemen and women are looked after with the highest quality of care and is a charity that we are proud to support.
“We accept this gift from Erskine with immense pride and look forward to many more years of friendship between our two organisations. We thank Paul and Sheila for producing such a wonderful piece of artwork and poetry.”
Wing Commander Ian Cumming MBE, Erskine chief executive, said: “Presenting Rangers Football Club with this stunning piece of artwork and poetry is a small token of our gratitude for over a decade of support from the club’s fans. We are forever indebted to them and are enormously grateful for the continued backing from the Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal and their tireless fundraising efforts.”
Read more on the Erskine website