MANCHESTER hosted its first ever Poppy Day in Piccadilly Gardens as part of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Generous Mancunians dug deep to support our Armed Forces as more than 100 serving personnel, veterans and volunteers braved the bad weather to collect thousands of pounds from the public.

The Legion’s Poppy Appeal campaign funds direct welfare and support to the Armed Forces community and this year is focused on Forces families.

The Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, pinned poppies on volunteers including Andy Reid – a former soldier who attended the Legion-funded Battle Back Centre (Lilleshall) in the Midlands after losing three limbs in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2009. He also gave a poppy to Lisa McKinlay who sadly lost her husband Jon in Afghanistan two years ago.

Warren said: “It has been an honour to attend Manchester Poppy Day and meet inspirational people such as Andy and Lisa.

“Their support today has been invaluable to the Legion and I am humbled by the generosity of those who gave to this worthwhile cause.

“Not only will those donations make a significant difference to the lives of our Service personnel, past and present, but wearing the red poppy means we also won’t forget the sacrifices made by those in past conflicts.”

The Royal British Legion spends £1.6million per week on direct care and support for the whole Armed Forces family, past and present. For more information about the charity or to make a donation to this year’s Poppy Appeal, visit


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