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More than Football: Ben’s Story

This week, we are celebrating EDFN’s More Than Football campaign. One of the ways BFCitC are more than football is through our Veterans Programme. Here is Ben’s story…

“My name is Ben Robinson, and I’m originally from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. I joined the Army at the age of 15, entering the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, stationed at Bovington in Dorset.

During my time in the Army, I served in various locations, including Aden, Bahrain, Libya, two years in Cyprus with the United Nations, Kenya, Germany, and of course, the UK.

After leaving the Army, I found myself missing the camaraderie, banter, and sense of belonging that comes with military life. Despite starting a family, that void persisted. To address it, I joined several ex-military clubs, one of which was the Burnley Football Club in the Community Group. While they operate independently from Burnley FC, they have their own Veterans Group, supported by an administrative team dedicated to our interests.

Our Veterans Group is diverse, comprising members from all branches of the military. We hold meetings at various venues, primarily at Whitehough in Barley, Burnley Cricket Club, and other locations. These gatherings provide the camaraderie and sense of community that I missed, along with opportunities for fun activities and welfare support. We often host guest speakers covering topics such as health and computer issues.

In addition to our regular meetings, we engage in crown green bowling during the summer months and contribute to the upkeep of Whitehough. We also collaborate with other ex-military groups for social events, either at our venue or theirs.

Being part of the military family, whether actively serving or a veteran, keeps the spirit of our past lives alive. It’s as simple as reaching out to local ex-military groups and getting involved. I did it, and you can too.”

We would like to say a huge thank you to Ben for his dedication to our projects and for always sharing his stories with us.

If you would like more information or to get involved in BFCitC’s Veterans Programme yourself, please get in touch with (07934 853 407) or (07714 792 392).