Pensioner, 71, says sorry after players go AWOL

Mr Sellars with a poster advertising the match
Mr Sellars with a poster advertising the match

It should have been an evocative re-enactment of one of the most famous football matches in history with the proceeds going to charity.

Horncastle pensioner Keith Sellars (71) had spent endless hours organising the Boxing Day clash between ‘The Tommies’ and ‘The Huns.’

It was a modern-day staging of a ‘match’ 100 years ago when British and German troops left their trenches during the First World War and played football in No Man’s Land.

The crowds braved bitterly cold conditions and turned out in force at Horncastle Playing Fields.

Mr Sellars had filled sandbags with straw to re-create a war-time trench.

He’d prepared a script and was ready to collect donations for the Royal British Legion and Help The Heroes.

There was only one problem - just four players turned up.

After waiting for re-enforcements, Mr Sellars had to cancel the figure - much to the disappointment of the crowd.

Now, Mr Sellars has apologised and hit out at the AWOL players.

He said: “About 14 lads had promised to turn up. They’re all local.

“Everything was ready and there were lots of people there. We waited and waited. Four lads turned up but that was it.

“I felt badly let down. All I can say is sorry to everyone. It’s a shame because we’d have raised a lot of money.

“It’s sad when 100 years ago people gave their lives to make sure we could walk free today - and yet these lads couldn’t be bothered.”

Mr Sellars thanked Horncastle Town Council for providing sand bags and Read farms for donating straw. He said money raised would be handed to the charities.