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Uploaded Thursday, 11th Nov, 2021 at 07:00

IT IS that time of the year when millions around the world reflect upon the role played by the many men and women in the armed services during times of war and conflict.
Indeed, many within the United family and wider community will have memories of friends and family who have served, suffered, and often paid the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives answering the call of duty.
A minute silence was observed at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Tuesday evening as, prior to the game against Linfield, the two teams, officials, and fans stood silent - United in Remembrance.
Three men; John Esler, George Grant and John Swann, not exactly names that have gone down in United folklore with the likes Norman Clarke, Geoff Twentyman and Eric Trevorrow. But these were three Ballymena United Football Club players that paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.
Such an unnecessary loss of life is tragic at the best of times, but even more so given that they formed part of an exciting Ballymena United side that was on the verge of becoming a formidable force in the Irish League before the Irish League temporarily disbanded and the Sky Blues were forced out of football for six seasons whilst the Showgrounds was occupied as an Army training camp.
Fittingly one of the final appearances for both George Grant and John Swann was to help the Braidmen to victory in the 1940 Irish Cup Final against Glenavon, therefore etching their place in the history of the club forevermore.
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
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