Fulham, QPR and Chelsea football clubs recently gave free match tickets, kits and training sessions to Afghan refugee families temporarily living in H&F.
At Fulham vs Cardiff City, the Afghan refugees were able to walk to the game, joining the local fans heading to Craven Cottage. They also mingled with Cardiff fans, and even tried to learn a couple of the Welsh team’s songs.
At QPR vs Nottingham Forest, refugees travelled by coach to Loftus Road, supported by our LET Officers. They were personally greeted and accompanied into the stadium by H&F Mayor, Cllr PJ Murphy.
“H&F is a place for all, and it’s been fantastic to introduce our Afghan guests to such an exciting part of borough life and to say ‘Thank You’ for all they did to support our armed forces in Afghanistan. We owe them a debt of gratitude,” said Cllr Murphy.
“It was wonderful to walk to Loftus Road with them and see how they were welcomed by the fans. Thanks to Chelsea, Fulham and QPR for welcoming them into the heart of the borough and hopefully inspiring some new football fans along the way!”
Champions League tickets
Chelsea’s Champions League tickets for their match against Italian team Juventus, were allocated through a raffle, with Cllr Larry Culhane, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education, drawing the winning tickets. Chelsea won 4-0.
Looking the part
QPR’s charitable arm - QPR in the Community Trust – has also organised for new training kit to be delivered, alongside donated sweatshirts, training bottoms, football boots and trainers from staff members. The Trust is also running a weekly football session for refugees from H&F and neighbouring boroughs to attend together.
Chelsea’s clothing donations included hats, gloves, thermals, and tracksuit bottoms. The club has run a weekly football session at the Westway for younger refugees since October, and more recently started a weekly fitness session for adults at Eel Brook Common.
Fulham FC’s players donated new boots and training kit, and the Fulham FC Foundation delivered a popular football programme which has developed into another weekly training session at Eel Brook Common.
Fulham FC’s Foundation has worked closely with H&F’s refugee community for years. In 2020, they hosted a celebration event at Craven Cottage to highlight the positive impacts of football. Unaccompanied refugee children from across the borough were invited to a special training session, attended by Gary Lineker, local refugee campaigner, Lord Alf Dubs, and H&F Leader Stephen Cowan.
Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.