21 August 2017

QPR playing leading role in football’s Grenfell Tower relief effort with #Game4Grenfell charity match

IF you look out the admin office windows at the top of QPR’s ground, your eye cannot avoid the harrowing, hollow shell of Grenfell Tower.

The charred remains of the high-rise looms large a mile away from Loftus Road, giving staff a chilling, daily reminder of one of the most tragic disasters in British history.

The harrowing empty shell of Grenfell Tower can be seen from Loftus Road
Splash News
Les Ferdinand and Mumford and Sons singer Marcus Mumford are holding a charity football match
Andrew Cotterill

QPR’s proximity and connection of many of its fans make it fitting they are playing a leading role in football’s relief effort for the victims.

The #Game4Grenfell, a match to show support and raise money for those affected by the terrible fire, takes place on Saturday, September 2.

R’s legend Les Ferdinand, now the club’s director of football, is partly behind the event.

He grew up in the area and will play in the fixture along with a hosts of sport stars and celebrities.

The list of famous names taking part reads like a who’s who of sport, music and movies.

Those putting on their boots include Alan Shearer, David Seaman, Trevor Sinclair, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Olly Murs, Jarvis Cocker, Damian Lewis and Tinie Tempah.

Andy Sinton, right, has been at the forefront of QPR’s Grenfell Tower relief work
Rex Features

Peter Crouch will feature alongside his firefighter pal Gregg Jules who was directly involved in the blaze aftermath.

Ex-QPR and England winger Andy Sinton, now an ambassador for the club, is also taking to the field.

Sinton, 51, has worked with some of the youngsters affected by the tragedy with the free summer football programme the club has put on this summer at the Westway Sports Centre.

He said: “It gives them a release and something to focus on and a structured environment where they can just smile again for a couple of hours after what they’ve been through.

Les Ferdinand played around Grenfell Tower when he was younger
Rex Features
Pop superstar Olly Murs has been confirmed for the #GameforGrenfell match
Rex Features

“For them to be running around with some friends, smiling and laughing, it can sometimes bring a lump to your throat when you turn round and see this big building which is still there charred black.

“When you are so close to it and you see it, almost on a daily basis, it is just horrendous.

“The Game for Grenfell is a wonderful idea and it will be a really emotional evening.

“Sport and football can bring communities together, we’ve seen the power of it in the past. I hope it is a really well supported event.

“People can stand shoulder to shoulder and in a tiny way, help these unfortunate people to move forward.”

The Grenfell Tower tragedy killed at least 80 people and left hundreds without homes
PA:Press Association
Alan Shearer will play in the charity game for Grenfell Tower
PA:Press Association

The horrific disaster took on an extra chilling significance for me on hearing boxer George Groves interviewed about it in the afternoon of that awful day.

I’d been to the tower years ago to interview James DeGale ahead of his first fight with Groves at the gym where he was training, which was located at the base of the building.

What happened on June 14 was truly unimaginable and the terrifying images of that towering inferno will stay etched in our minds forever.

But as Sinton says, this game of football can bring some momentary joy, raise some money and show the community is there for those affected.

For #Game4Grenfell tickets, visit www.Game4Grenfell.com

Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog

The Government says independent review will be carried out into building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire
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