Firefighters from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and Grenfell Athletic, a team made up of survivors from the Grenfell tragedy, went head-to-head to raise money for charity during a special one-off football match on Friday evening.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, also joined the GMFRS team, with the final score coming in at 3-3 before the match went to penalties.
Firefighter Renato Tumini (Renny) scored an early goal for GMFRS as the two teams battled it out on a drizzly Greater Manchester evening at Abbey Hey Football Club, in Gorton. As the referee’s full-time whistle sounded, the score was 3-3, with GMFRS crews going on to win the match 4-3 on penalties.
The game was all for a good cause, with donations on the door going to Grenfell Athletic, to help fund the development of the football club, and The Fire Fighters Charity. Before the match took place, both teams held a 72 second silence in memory of those who were lost in the devastating fire.
Grenfell Athletic was set up following the tragic fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, London, on 14 June, 2017, which caused the deaths of 72 people. The inspiring team aims to support the mental health and solidarity of the group of young men who make up the squad, as well as the families who were bereaved that day.
The GMFRS players wore a unique kit which contains the names of UK Firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Tonight saw Greater Manchester and London come together to raise money for two amazing causes. It was fantastic to see first-hand the positive effect Grenfell Athletic FC has had on the lives of the players.
“In Greater Manchester, our thoughts will always be with those affected by the Grenfell tragedy. But it says so much about the Grenfell families that they are also showing their support for our firefighters. We do not do enough north south collaboration, this is a bit different, and it’s great to be able to build community ties with the Grenfell families in London.”
Rupert Taylor, Founder of Grenfell Athletic, said: “The football tour has been a great way for our family, the Grenfell players, community members, bereaved and survivors to raise money for charity and to spend time away from W10 and W11. We want to thank the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for joining us on the pitch today and helping us to raise money for two great causes.
“Football is a great way to build connections and bring people together, and we look forward to working with the GMFRS crews in the future.”
Paul Lomax, Captain of GMFRS football team, said: “We were honoured to play against the Grenfell Athletic team today, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and getting a chance to participate in such a worthwhile community event.
“I also want to say a thank you to all of the supporters and members of the public who came to watch today and help raise money for charity, despite the Manchester weather.”
Article Published: 31/07/2021 10:21 AM