Private Gregg Stone's widow to lay wreath before Hull City v Barnsley match
THE family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan earlier this year will attend an emotional service at the KC Stadium tomorrow.
Private Gregg Stone, 20, was shot dead during a mission to rescue a senior Afghan policeman from the Taliban in June.
His wife Samantha will lay a wreath prior to the 3pm kick-off at Hull City's home game against Barnsley and there will be a short service at half-time.
A total of 400 tickets have been donated by the Tigers to members of the Armed Forces for the game.
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Pte Stone's parents, Bob and Angie, of Atwick, near Hornsea, will also be VIP guests.
Angela said: "We are all enormously honoured to have been invited to the match as VIP guests.
"We will not just be representing Gregg but also all of the other soldiers who have died and their families.
"Football gets a big crowd. It would be nice for people to take a moment to think about all those people who have died for their country."
The family say they will be feeling a mixture of pride and sadness. Angela said: "Sam is very proud of Gregg. She loved him dearly and still does. Her life will never be the same again.
"It's so sad that we have to do this. Obviously, we would much rather have Gregg here with us."
Sam is expecting their first child together next month.
Personnel from the Army, the RAF and the Royal Navy have been invited to attend the game against the Tykes.
Ex-servicemen and members of The Royal British Legion will also be attending.
There will be two military vehicles stationed outside the West Stand, courtesy of the Specialist Training Division, a guard of honour incorporating members of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, who have just returned from active duty, and ex-servicemen parading military Standards.
Ernie Oldfield, East Yorkshire Royal British Legion co-ordinator for the Poppy Appeal, said: "It is important for football fans to get involved and they are pretty generous.
"We will be doing a bucket collection on the day. Last year we collected £1,100 and we hope to beat that this year.
"As well as generating money it will also help raise the profile of the Poppy Appeal.
"Having the Stone family will make the day even more poignant and it's important to understand what is happening in Afghanistan."
George Hudson, media manager for Hull City, believes the day will provide a great tribute to the Armed Forces.
He said: "Hull has strong links with the military, with many of our fans currently serving abroad.
"We wanted to take this opportunity, along with Tigers and Barnsley fans, to mark our respect in a fitting manner, particularly highlighting the Yorkshire Regiment.
"Samantha has kindly agreed to be part of the wreath-laying ceremony prior to kick-off.
"There will also be a bucket collection for the Royal British Legion and, at half-time, a team of policemen who have given up their time to undertake a gruelling 24-hour bike ride to raise funds for the Yorkshire Regiment will be completing their 250-mile journey from the regiment's base in Warminster.
"We are sure both sets of fans will join us in showing support for those who give up so much for all of us."
A minute's silence will also be held, starting and finishing with the blowing of the referee's whistle.