Harry Kane backs Grenfell football team formed to heal community

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Harry Kane has thrown his weight behind a football club founded in the wake of the deadly Grenfell fire.

The England captain on Monday tweeted a photo of himself wearing a green jersey emblazoned with a “Grenfell Athletic FC” badge and the team’s dragon logo.

“All profits from Grenfell Athletic shirt sales help develop the football club – it’s a source of hope, solidarity and mental and physical health for the Grenfell community,” Mr Kane wrote, adding a link to the online shop.

Grenfell Athletic FC was formed by community worker and youth centre manager Rupert Taylor in the weeks after the 2017 disaster, which took 72 lives and devastated a community.

Mr Taylor, who has lived a few streets away from Grenfell in west London for his whole life, saw setting up the club as “a way for me to try to help young men in my local community come together after such a huge tragedy”.

“Football could be a way of just opening up conversations,” he wrote in the Metro newspaper.

“The legacy is a way of remembering the people who died. It shows our resilience, grit and determination as a team – and we wear that as a badge of honour.”

Grenfell Tower stock
Grenfell Athletic FC was formed in the wake of the deadly fire that ripped through Grenfell Tower in west London in 2017 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Sales of the shirt, which was designed by Nike and Kitlocker, will help fund the growth of the men’s team, the establishment of women’s and youth teams and plans eventually to have a stadium in the local area.

“Legend @harrykane always comes through,” the club wrote on Instagram in response to Mr Kane’s post.

Celebrities including musician Noel Gallagher, as well as Hollywood actors Hugh Jackman and Tom Cruise have also been pictured with the kit.

The club’s dragon logo “is a symbol of our commitment to honour the lives of the 72 people who lost their lives and a constant reminder that we exist to enrich our community”, according to the sales website.

“In many cultures dragons are not breathers of fire but instead protectors of the community.”

People can also buy a limited-edition Dairy Milk chocolate bar created for Grenfell Athletic by Cadbury.

The club has done well since joining the Middlesex County football league, taking the top spot and winning the league cup in its second year.

Grenfell Athletic FC has faced players from fire service football clubs, including firefighters from London Fire Brigade FC who attended the inferno at Grenfell Tower.

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