USING the power of football for the people of Grenfell and the wider community. A #Game4Grenfell.
A simple tag-line, but a powerful, important message.
QPR’s Loftus Road stadium will play host to a #Game4Grenfell on Saturday 2nd September 2017 (kick-off 3.00pm), as QPR and QPR in the Community Trust – as the most local club in the West London community – come together with Columbia Records and Toast Entertainment Group to show support for the community affected so tragically by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster on June 14th.
The brainchild of QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes, Director of Football Les Ferdinand and Columbia Records' Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, the fixture – which will see two teams consisting of ex-professionals and celebrities, as well as a few special guests, play a 90-minute match in W12, just one mile away from the North Kensington tower-block – will act as a community event to give something back to those affected by the fire last month, using football as the most powerful of tools to unite the people of West London.
Indeed, the power of football will ensure the legacy extends well beyond the game itself, thanks primarily to the involvement of Marcus Mumford, lead singer of Mumford & Sons, who is the driving-force of a newly-launched free summer football programme for the young children of Grenfell.
Mumford has spent the last few weeks with survivors and their families and thanks to his efforts and the involvement of a number of local charities and organisations, of which QPR in the Community Trust has been at the forefront, a free summer football programme for young children was set up, which is now thriving at the Westway Sports Centre.
Tickets for #Game4Grenfell – which has been organised by the QPR in the Community Trust group, the club’s official charity – will be priced £15 for adults and £5 concessions.
Monies raised from ticket sales and other fundraising initiatives around the event will be passed directly to the London Community Foundation for allocation to the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, distributing funds to survivors and the wider community affected by the fire.
A number of famous ex-pros, including Les Ferdinand, David Seaman, Trevor Sinclair, Alan Shearer, Andy Sinton, Jody Morris, Ally McCoist and Paul Merson, are amongst those already signed up to play their part in W12.
Peter Crouch will also feature, alongside his firefighter friend Gregg Jules, who was directly involved in the relief effort.
In addition, Mumford, Olly Murs, Wretch 32, Ben Shephard, Damian Lewis, DJ Spoony, Tinie Tempah, Jarvis Cocker, Darren Campbell, Jamie Dornan, Richard Ashcroft, Serge Pizzorno, Tamer Hassan, Ben Cohen and James Bay are amongst those set to feature too, in what promises to be a day to remember for the West London community.
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.
Ferdinand, who grew up in the area affected and spent much of his youth in the local community before going on to play for QPR throughout a distinguished career for the Hoops, said: “The Grenfell Tower fire has had a huge impact on the local community, of which QPR is a massive part.
“As someone who grew up in the area, personally this is incredibly close to my own heart and having spoken to Tony [Fernandes], he was also keen to continue the work we’ve done in the community since the fire.
“A game, giving something back to the people of West London, seemed like the obvious thing to do, and thanks to QPR, Toast Entertainment Group and Columbia Records, the idea of a #Game4Grenfell was born.
“Despite the natural team rivalries that exist in football, I have always found that this sport can unite people and communities like no other.
“In the hours and days after the tragic fire, Fulham, Brentford, Chelsea and ourselves worked shoulder to shoulder, uniting for the communities we all live and work in.”
QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes added: “This game isn’t about QPR, this game is about our community, and it’s a vehicle to bring people together; to give us all an opportunity to show solidarity.
“I spent my college days around the area affected and have always felt West London is special. The reaction after the Grenfell fire confirmed what I have always believed.
“It will take years, and in some cases a lifetime, for our community to recover from this. We hope this match, this event, this demonstration of support, will help, in some small way, to show that all those who have been affected are not alone. We all stand together.”
Thanks to Mumford’s involvement, the Trust’s community work in the area affected is already being rolled out, with the launch of a free football programme for residents, which started on Monday.
QPR in the Community Trust – together with Westway Sports Centre, John Lyon's Charity, City Bridge Trust, Youth Action Alliance, Harrow Club, Epic CIC, Fulham Foundation and Chelsea Foundation – are delivering summer soccer camps for the young people affected by the fire, held every day from Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm for children of all ages, which will culminate in a finals day on the day of the #Game4Grenfell.
Mumford said: “I'm very excited to be part of the summer's worth of football for kids affected by Grenfell and in the wider North Kensington community.
“I'm also really looking forward to dusting off my boots, nutmegging Ferdinand and smashing some goals past Seaman on September 2nd.”
Olly Murs, who will feature alongside Mumford on September 2nd at Loftus Road, added: “I’m very honoured to be asked to support such a worthwhile cause, raising money for the people of Grenfell.
“To be able to help – by playing a game of footy – was a no-brainer for me to sign up!
“Hopefully we can sell out the ground, and everyone gets behind this game – I can’t wait.”
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.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Cotterill