When Rupert Taylor founded Grenfell Athletic FC back in 2017 following the Grenfell Tower fire, he couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams that just a few years later he’d be seeing the England Captain donning his team’s kit.

But that’s exactly what happened in December when, in partnership with Kitlocker.com and Nike, the club launched their new kit. It got support from a whole host of big names from the worlds of sport, music, TV and beyond. Read more about the launch here.

The club is much more than just a grassroots football team. It provides a hub and a sign of hope for a community ravaged by tragedy. Proceeds from the sale of the new kit will be used to help the development of Grenfell Athletic FC.

We chatted to Rupert to find out more about the kit launch and what it has meant for the club.

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The kit has had a great reception all over social media, were you surprised by the huge reaction it got?

Yes, of course I was surprised. I knew what we wanted to achieve but I had no idea it would be received in such a positive light. People will always have an opinion and thankfully, in this case it was all positive. What a huge support network. Not only for this team but for Grenfell and the community.

Seeing the likes of Harry Kane and Big Zuu, not only supporting the campaign, but actually wearing the Grenfell Athletic shirt must have been amazing, right?

Big Zuu and Harry Kane wearing the shirts is absolutely incredible. They a perfect examples in contrast. Big Zuu local grew up close to the area and knowing and loving so many people within this community. And Harry Kane, I mean the England captain, WOW. I am a LFC man to the core and seeing Harry Kane in the shirt was moving to say the least.

I am so thankful and appreciative of them giving up seconds of their time to create months and maybe even years of support. It’s a huge blessing. Thank you to those named and those that have been named.

This community needs more love like that.

What are the long-term goals for Grenfell Athletic FC?

The plan is to create a sustainable club that’s able to build on what we have accomplished so far. We would like both a Junior and a women’s team. We are creating a legacy so that what happened in this community will NEVER be forgotten.

We also would like a stadium of excellence, a sports facility that provides opportunities to young people allowing them to be the best possible versions of themselves.

Proceeds from the sales of the shirt will go back into the development of the club. How much of a help will these additional funds be to your cause?

The funds will be a game changer. The more that we receive the more we will pump into the community. We are driven to have a space of our own.

We’re big fans of the club badge. Tell us a little about it’s design and the meaning behind it.

What an incredible badge right?! Previously people have asked about the dragon.

We designed the badge based on the original tower and we wanted a mythical creature that was respected to be part of the badge. Not all dragon’s breath fire. Dragon’s breath life and other elements. Dragons are known as protectors, more commonly known for protecting gold and wealth. In this case, it’s our tower the dragon is protecting. Our dragon protects the lives of who we lost to reach heaven.

Our dragon even has a name.

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What kind of effect has the pandemic had on both the club and the Grenfell community as a whole?

The same effect it’s had on our nation.

We need to access sporting activities to increase health both physically and mentally. Sometimes group sports are much more effective because of the camaraderie.

Clearly Grenfell Athletic is about much more than what happens on the pitch. But how much are you looking forward to seeing the team back playing again?

We have pretty much lost 2 years of football. These boys are a force for good. We have much to achieve together both on and off the pitch. The team needs to keep growing and building together. We can only do that if we’re playing together and seeing each other on a regular basis. This team has much to offer the community and I am excited about the developments to come.

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Get Behind Grenfell Athletic 💚

Rupert isn’t the only one looking forward to seeing what is to come for Grenfell Athletic FC. At Kitlocker.com we love a football team with a cause, that is fighting for something bigger than sport. Which is why we’re proud to be associated with such a special club.

Why not add the Grenfell Athletic shirt to your collection? Not only is it supporting a good cause, it’s a very nice shirt too. Click below to check out the range.

GRENFELL ATHLETIC SHOP

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