Law firm Russell-Cooke has announced a new partnership with Grenfell Athletic Football Club. Funding from Russell-Cooke will contribute towards the team's forthcoming Fire Services Tour, to take place over 10 days from 25 July to 6 August 2021.
Grenfell Athletic FC is a football team consisting of victims, family and community members affected by the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017. Founded by local youth worker, Rupert Taylor, in the days following the disaster, the team competes in the Middlesex County Football League and offers support to those affected by the fire.
Russell-Cooke has assisted those affected since the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The firm continues to represent survivors of the fire and the families of victims in the ongoing Inquiry, as well as assisting its clients to secure alternative accommodation after the fire, and to progress civil claims concerning any injuries they sustained in the fire. The firm’s client, Joseph John, is one of the founding players of Grenfell Athletic.
During the Fire Services Tour, Grenfell Athletic will play matches against fire service football teams across the country. Matches will be held in Suffolk, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, finishing with a match against the Red Watch in London on 6 August 2021. The Red Watch is the fire service that attended Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire, and rescued many survivors of the fire, several of whom now play for Grenfell Athletic.
Rupert Taylor said: “Founding Grenfell Athletic was an instinctive reaction - to provide support and healing to people who had been through unbearable pain and loss. Football is about camaraderie, teamwork and losing yourself in the physicality of kicking a ball around a pitch. Grenfell Athletic has grown bigger over the years but the purpose, for me, is still the same. Russell-Cooke knows and understands intimately the toll the fire has taken on the victims, families and community. So we are so pleased to partner with them on our symbolic Fire Services Tour.”
Graham French, consultant at Russell-Cooke leading the firm's Inquiry work, commented: “Grenfell Athletic is an incredible symbol of the strength of the Grenfell Community and of the spirit of the victims, survivors and families. The team represents the best of humanity – the causes of the fire represented the worst. It is a beacon of optimism and of positivity that is much needed now, with much still unanswered and not enough changed. We are so pleased to support Rupert, Grenfell Athletic and the players with the Fire Services Tour and all it represents.”