POPPIES will be worn with pride by players representing some of the North-East’s senior football clubs this weekend.

Three of the region’s five professional clubs have so far confirmed plans to carry poppies on their shirts for their fixtures tomorrow.

A growing list of senior clubs round the country have announced plans to sport poppies on their match-day kit over the weekend.

But the issue has led to a clash between rival writers for national newspapers.

The Daily Mail’s Sports Agenda columnist, Charles Sale, has led an unofficial campaign calling for clubs to recognise the sacrifices of our troops in Afghanistan, as well as their predecessors down the years, by embroidering poppies to their shirts.

His column this week has made a point of naming those Premier League clubs which have so far not announced plans to add the poppy to their shirts.

Liverpool, Manchester United, and Bolton Wanderers are the “offending” clubs.

Two at least have countered that it is difficult to display the poppy prominently against the background of a predominantly red strip.

The campaign has been criticised by Guardian columnist Marina Hyde who argues clubs should not be brow-beaten into wearing poppies.

Sunderland, the region’s only Premier League representatives this season, adorned poppies on their red and white striped shirts for last Saturday’s match against West Ham, at the Stadium of Light, as they are away from home, at Spurs tomorrow.

Several members of the Armed Forces were warmly applauded by fans of both sides after being introduced to the crowd.

Middlesbrough have confirmed their players will also sport poppy emblems, which have been added to their sky blue away strip for tomorrow’s Championship fixture at Crystal Palace.

Hartlepool United will be adorning their blue and white home shirts with poppies on the front and back for tomorrow’s FA Cup first round home tie against Kettering Town at Victoria Park.

They will be signed by the players after the match and auctioned on ebay, to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and the Help for Heroes charity.

Collecting buckets will be placed near catering kiosks for fans wanting to donate spare change to the causes, while the specially-themed match-day “poppy programme”

is priced at only £1 for the game.

Newcastle United and Darlington have yet to announce whether they plan to have a poppy on their shirts.