Eton pupils give father of stabbed footballer Kiyan Price standing ovation for powerful speech

Dr Mark Pince and his son Kiyan, 15 (Supplied)
Dr Mark Pince and his son Kiyan, 15 (Supplied)

The father of murdered teenage footballer Kiyan Prince received a standing ovation after giving a rousing speech on knife crime at one of the most prestigious private schools in the country.

Dr Mark Prince OBE told 750 boys at Eton College near Windsor that trauma behind the violent crime epidemic does not discriminate.

The 55-year-old vowed to travel to any school, youth group or prison from Land’s End to John O’Groats if it prevented another tragedy.

He was invited to the elite Berkshire boarding school by head master Simon Henderson, who said despite their different backgrounds Dr Prince’s motivational talk around making the right choices had a “massive impact” on pupils.

Kiyan, 15, who played for Queens Park Rangers’ youth team, was stabbed to death trying to break up a fight outside the gates of London Academy in Edgware on May 18, 2006.

Speaking on the 18th anniversary of the killing, Dr Prince told the Standard: “Mental health is a cause of serious youth violence.

“You can be rich or poor, you’ll still have trauma in life.

“Nobody is immune from getting stressed, anxious and having low esteem - even if you attend Eton.

“If we can reduce the number of people hurting inside, it’ll stop them hurting others. People from all walks of life have been affected by knife crime.”

Dr Prince, who will spend Saturday at his son’s grave, added: “Whatever your background, every young person has greatness within them.

“If you have resilience, are able to make sacrifices and focus on your goals, anything can be achieved.

“It was an important message for the Etonians - that they too have a responsibility to contribute to their communities.”

Eton’s alumni includes many former prime ministers, including Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

Mark Prince and his son Kiyan as a toddler (Mark Prince)
Mark Prince and his son Kiyan as a toddler (Mark Prince)

Mr Henderson, 48, is a lifelong QPR supporter and now a chairman of trustees for the Kiyan Prince Foundation.

He said of Dr Prince’s visit last year: “When Mark came to preach in Eton’s chapel his amazing authenticity cut through.

“Around 750 boys were there for a compulsory Sunday service - for some perhaps not usually the highlight of their week.

“Mark started speaking.

“Within a split second you could see the boys thinking, ‘This is something different’.

“They were captivated by Mark’s story and by his message ‘The Power of Choice’, which really struck a chord - we can’t always choose the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we always have a choice as to how we react. That’s a universal message.

“As he finished speaking, Mark got a rousing ovation from the boys - not something that happens very often in chapel - and they queued up after the service to talk to him and ask him questions.

“He made a massive impact.”

He added: “While we might operate in very different contexts, our values are aligned.

“We both believe that you get the best out of young people by empowering them, by building their confidence and by giving them agency to make positive choices. This is true whether you are growing up in Windsor or in White City.”

Dr Prince, a former IBF and WBO intercontinental boxing champion, has dedicated his life to empowering young people through the foundation set up in Kiyan’s name.

Three years ago, the Fifa 21 video game used AI technology to show Kiyan as a 30-year-old professional footballer, allowing gamers to play as him.

QPR listed him as a squad member on all matchday programmes, having already renamed their ground the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in 2019 for three seasons.

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