THE tragic events of June 14th, which saw the Grenfell Tower go up in flames and claim the lives of many, is something that has deeply affected everyone at QPR.
With Grenfell being located less than a mile from Loftus Road, the aftermath of the fire can still be seen from several parts of our stadium.
Many of our fans and people associated with the club know people directly affected by the tragedy.
Our Director of Football Les Ferdinand grew up on the Grenfell estate and like everyone else in the local area, is still struggling to come to terms with the severity of the disaster.
But something that makes this part of London so special is the way the local people come together and unite in times of need.
This was wonderfully illustrated by the fact that hours after the fire, Loftus Road opened its doors to the public for donations, but had to close them a day later because there was simply no space left in the stadium due to the sheer amount of donations.
The reaction and spirit of the local community is one of the fundamental reasons as to why QPR Co-Chairman Tony Fernandes felt it was so important to host a #Game4Grenfell – a 90-minute football match for the people of west London, to be held on September 2nd, to help continue the feeling of togetherness in the local community.
Speaking to www.qpr.co.uk, Fernandes has explained just how important the community coming together has been in dealing with the tragedy of Grenfell.
He said: “When I was at college, I lived on the Uxbridge Road, so West London has always been a special place for me. That bond has only strengthened since my involvement at QPR.
“I think there’s been a tremendous shock since the fire, you don’t expect this sort of thing to happen in this day and age – but I think the spirit of West London has come together and in some ways, the strength of the community has somewhat buffered the shock of the tragedy.”
After hearing from CEO Lee Hoos on just how many donations Loftus Road received hours after the fire, the R’s Co-Chairman came up with the idea of hosting an event that could further contribute to bringing the community together.
“I used to be in the music business and Ferdy (Ferdy Unger-Hamilton) from Columbia Records called me up and we spoke about the idea of bringing local celebrities and footballers together to try and do something for the community,” explained Fernandes.
“The game makes sense for two reasons. Firstly, to thank everyone that was involved at Grenfell – there were so many heroic actions on that day – and secondly, to bring the community together, which the power of football is great at doing.”
Over 2,000 complimentary tickets will be issued to those directly affected by the tragedy, including families, the emergency services, volunteers, local residents and those who played their part in the recovery efforts in North Kensington.
Fernandes added: “There are a large number of complimentary tickets that will go to people of the families that have been affected, that’s the least we can do.
“We want to thank all those involved, from the fireman, to the police, to the volunteers. We’ll do whatever we can to help those affected and also give them something back.”
Tickets for a #Game4Grenfell are on sale now, priced just £15 for adults and £5 concessions. To buy, click HERE.
For further information on the #Game4Grenfell, visit www.game4grenfell.com
To donate, click HERE