´╗┐Representatives from across football have marked the contribution made by the game to the First World War, in a trip to Northern France that visited battlefields and cemeteries that hold a special significance to football.

It represents the first piece of activity organised by football, in this case by The Football League, as part of the nation's efforts to mark the 100th Anniversary of the First World War.

Further initiatives will be announced later in the year.

The League's guests included FA Chairman, Greg Dyke; Premier League Director of Football, Mike Foster; PFA Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor, LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan and Major General Malcolm Wood of the Army FA.

The party visited a number of historic sites, including many associated with the Footballers' Battalion.

The Middlesex 17th and 23rd regiments consisted of players, officials, referees and fans from across domestic football who lived and died together in some of the fiercest fighting of the entire war.

They included the grave of Bradford Park Avenue's Donald Bell who earned the Victoria Cross for his heroic efforts in the Somme offensive. Bell did not live to receive his medal, killed in action five days after the heroic actions for which he was recognised.

For the first time ever, Bell's VC, which was bought at auction by the PFA in 2010, was taken to his place of rest having never previously left the country.

Football League Chairman, Greg Clarke said: "The aim of the trip has been to raise our collective understanding, as a game, of the sacrifices made by those connected to football during the Great War.

"It is important to ensure that their efforts are never forgotten and I hope that others who love our game will also visit these very special places during the forthcoming centenary period."

The trip to France was led by Football League's Senior Youth Regional Manager, Phil Stant and author Phil Andrew Riddoch.

Before joining The Football League, Stant served 5 Infantry Brigade and 12 League clubs, while Riddoch is the acclaimed co-author of 'When the Whistle Blows', the book that chronicles the story of the Footballers' Battalion.

Football Remembers

FA Chairman Greg Dyke, who helped lay a wreath comprised of poppies in the colours of the 92 league clubs at The Football League's memorial to the Footballers' Battallion in the village of Longueval, said: "We are remembering footballers, people who played or worked in the game and gave the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War.

"I still find it shocking that hundreds upon hundreds of people were being killed regularly. Thousands died on the first day of the Somme. It is very hard to believe in this day and age."

Football Remembers