MARK Prince has penned an open letter to QPR fans, following the news that Loftus Road will be renamed The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium from next season.
The club announced in April that it would be gifting the naming rights of the ground to a local charity from 2019/20.
Supporters were asked to nominate their preferred charities and, after a shortlist of five was drawn up, fans were then asked to vote for the charity they wanted to be awarded the naming rights.
Kiyan Prince was a promising youth prospect in QPR's academy until he was tragically killed outside of his school in May 2006 at the age of just 15.
His father, Mark, set up The Kiyan Prince Foundation to educate young people about the consequences of knife crime and the foundation scooped 63% of QPR fans' votes.
Mark has written the following message to QPR supporters...
I want to thank you all so much for supporting Kiyan Prince; your player, your youth player.
I’ve been very emotional since I was told that the foundation had won the naming rights to Loftus Road and you don’t know how happy you have made our family and the people who work with the foundation to make a difference to young people’s lives.
You have done something incredible and you are about to see the outcome of making the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium your stadium.
It is extra special because it isn’t just anywhere; it is here. This is the place where Kiyan was loved as a young footballer and his character was developed.
This is the legacy that QPR – the club and the fans – have allowed us to build at this historic stadium. There is work to be done and now we want to make the QPR fans think ‘yes, look at the impact these guys are having on young people in our area. Look at the impact they are having on families and the youth violence issue.’
We want to use this extra exposure to create more great outcomes. Everyone at the foundation is so excited and it hasn’t sunk in for me just yet.
I totally understand that some fans will always call the stadium Loftus Road and so they should, because it always will be.
But the fact that we can have Kiyan’s name up and have the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium affiliated with QPR is an honour for us. The fans support me and the foundation so well and I always want them to hold onto Loftus Road because it’s always going to be Loftus Road. To link the Kiyan Prince Foundation to this club is like a dream come true.
Thank you so much.