Exeter welcome HMS Defender Crew

Ship's Company present for Rotherham

Exeter City are delighted to welcome the crew of HMS Defender to the fixture against Rotherham at St James’ Park this weekend.  In attendance will be members of 190-strong Ship’s Company, including their football team, and they will be led by their Commanding Officer, Commander Philip Nash RN and presented to the crowd at half-time.

HMS Defender is currently undergoing extensive Sea Trials and Training, and is scheduled to join the Royal Navy Fleet in early 2013.  She became affiliated with the City of Exeter in February, and at Exeter City Football Club, we are privileged to be a part of that relationship.  The club donated a complement of Exeter City shirts for the ship’s football team in August, which they will wear when facing opposition representative teams all over the world.

Leading Physical Training Instructor Craig ‘Geordie’ Horsman, who is in charge of organising all sport and fitness activities onboard and captain’s the ship’s football team.  He has been instrumental in setting up links between the ship and the football club, and said:

“HMS Defender takes great pride in everything she does – be it a military task or a sporting event.  To be associated with the City of Exeter and in particular Exeter City football team is a great honour and one the ship is very proud of.  To be given an opportunity to wear Exeter City team colours whenever we play matches whilst deployed around the world is fantastic.

“So far we have played in the strip twice and won comfortably both times so we are hoping the good luck the strip seems to bring will long continue.”

HMS Defender is the fifth of the Royal Navy’s six new state of the art Type 45 destroyers which provide air defence to the Navy’s aircraft carriers and amphibious landing ships.  Built on the Clyde in Glasgow (her other affiliated city), at 8000 tons she is packed full of technology and will deploy in the near future around the world protecting the nation’s interests in a wide variety of roles, from anti-piracy to anti-submarine warfare, hurricane and disaster relief operations to search and rescue duties.

For more information on Defender and her progress please visit the Royal Navy website by clicking here