A SINGER from Nettlebed is to perform to the biggest audience of her career at Wembley Stadium.
Rebecca Poole will lead the flags out before the World Cup qualifier between England and San Marino this evening (Friday).
She will then sing her latest single, This Is The Song, on the pitch while wearing a Union flag dress.
Miss Poole will be accompanied by 40 members of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
She said: “The audience will be the biggest I’ve sung to so far — they say that there will be eight million people watching on television. It will be fun.”
Miss Poole was told that she had been handed the pre-match slot on Tuesday and it came just in time to cheer her up.
“I was having the worst day,” she said. “I was locked out of my house standing in the rain when my manager called to confirm that I will be opening at the qualifier and all of a sudden I didn’t notice the rain.
“I already sing at Wembley in the VIP area and the Football Association said they had listened to the song and watched the video and loved it and that it would be a good opener.”
She added: “I am not a big football fan but it will be very exciting — I am looking forward to the overall experience. A self-confessed fan of Vera Lynn, Miss Poole penned the single to raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity which raises money for ex-servicemen and women.
The former pupil of Nettlebed Community School and The Henley College said: “I wrote the song about saying goodbye to someone you love and you don’t think you will see again.
“There is a line that refers to danger which is not just a reference to war but is also a reminder to us to bring our loved ones together, which perhaps we take for granted sometimes.”
Miss Poole, who has performed at the Henley Festival with mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and once sang for Andrew Lloyd Webber at his home, turned professional seven years ago.
She has been meeting survivors of the Second World War for a forthcoming documentary and she will also be performing the song with the Red, White and Blues band of the Royal Air Force on Remembrance Day in Trafalgar Square.
Although Miss Poole says she has been called a modern-day forces sweetheart, she refutes the comparison. “I would never put myself in Dame Vera’s boots. She was one of a kind,” she said.
You can download This Is The Song from iTunes.
lThe Shiplake and Dunsden branch of the Royal British Legion will hold its annual supper at Shiplake College on October 26 from 7.30pm. Anyone in the parish can attend and the proceeds will go to the Poppy Appeal. Tickets cost ú20 each and are available from Rosemary Jones on 01189 481517.