Two Million Tickets
We are delighted to announce that we have now donated over TWO MILLION tickets to the UK’s Armed Forces since our launch in 2009.
The significant milestone was celebrated with a special invitation to Number 10 Downing Street for recipients of the tickets and representatives of the charity.
The reception was hosted by the wife of Prime Minister Rushi Sunak, Mrs Akshata Murty, who said: “Over two million tickets is absolutely fantastic, it’s incredible what you have been doing and achieved.”
Garrison Sergeant Andrew ‘Vern’ Stokes, who was a guest of Tickets For Troops at Number 10 and was in charge of organising the ceremonies for the late Queen’s funeral as well as the Coronation of King Charles, said “It was a great privilege for me to attend Number 10 as a guest of Tickets For Troops. I’m proud to have run two London Marathons to raise money for this great charity.
“They are an incredible, effective and small charity that makes a huge difference to service personnel, giving them opportunities they wouldn’t normally have. They punch above their weight in every way. Thank you for what you do.”
Founder and current Chair, Lord (Jonathan) Marland said: “Two million tickets is a milestone we never thought we would pass when we started TFT. All those organisations from entertainment, sport and the arts have been hugely generous to our servicemen and women recognising the vital role they play for our country.
“Our huge thanks go out to them and everyone who has supported us.”
Highlights over the years have included an allocation of tickets for the London Olympics in 2012, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 as well as tickets for those troops deployed abroad for events like the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix and more recently Ukrainian sailors being trained in the UK.
Special Forces from the SBS (Special Boat Service) and the SAS (Special Air Service) have also received significant ticket allocations especially from the rugby community at Club and international level.
Former Prime Minister Lord (David) Cameron, recently appointed Foreign Secretary in the current Government, was a driving force behind the success of the charity and generously hosted events at Number 10 with his wife Samantha Cameron, a former Patron of Tickets For Troops.
He said today: “I am so proud to have played a small part in bringing this extraordinary organisation into being.
“But above all massive congratulations to those who have turned it into such a force for good.
“The original idea was that we all needed to do more to show thanks and respect to those who serve in our armed forces. And that’s as true today as ever.”
Match of the Day host and television personality Gary Lineker also supported the launch 14 years ago this month and has regularly attended events over the years.
He said: “Many congratulations to Tickets For Troops. This started out as a very simple and small scale initiative and has grown and flourished into something which has made a real and meaningful difference to those serving in our fantastic Armed Forces.
“I am so proud to be associated with such a fantastic charity.”
Warrant Officer Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery and risking his life to save his crew in Iraq in 2004, also supported the original launch of the charity at an event at the 02.
He commented: “I am very proud to have been involved from the start with this wonderful charity. There are many, many charities in the military sector but Tickets For Troops has a real impact on soldiers and their families. I salute all those involved.”
Former Chief of the Defence Staff General Nick Houghton, now Lord Houghton CBE, who is a Director of the charity also paid tribute to the significant TWO MILLION landmark.
He said: “Tickets For Troops has just passed an amazing milestone. It has distributed its Two Millionth Ticket. This represents two million thank yous to the world of Sport, Music and the Performing Arts from the members of our country's Armed Forces.
“Lots of charities give wonderful support to those Armed Forces, particularly to our veterans and those that are facing tough times. But Tickets for Troops is not about welfare: it's about recognising service and demonstrating the nation's gratitude. And it's hugely appreciated by servicemen and women."
Former Defence chief Lord (David) Richards, who was a big supporter of the charity in the early days, said: “Tickets For Troops has provided unique and enduring support to the Armed Forces family and it means so much to all of them and the recognition which it represents. Thank you Tickets For Troops, what a fantastic achievement and we cannot thank you enough.”
Those offering tickets cover a wide range of sport from Premier League clubs like Chelsea, one of the charity’s first supporters, as well as many clubs in the lower leagues, British Horseracing at most of the country’s racecourses, tennis, rugby at club and international level, Cameron McIntosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber theatres as well as regional theatres and many music promoters, summer festivals and venues like the first class venues like the Royal Albert Hall, the O2, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena. Major stars such as Rod Stewart, Elton John and Robbie Williams have donated tickets.
A spokesperson for The FA, which has donated thousands of tickets for England matches at all levels, said: "We are very proud of our long-standing partnership with Tickets For Troops, and we are very grateful to the military community for their significant support to our teams and competitions.
“We congratulate them on reaching this significant milestone."