- Title: Video game debut for murdered schoolboy footballer
- Date: 17th May 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 14, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) LES FERDINAND,, FORMER QPR PLAYER, SAYING: â€œHeâ€™s kept Kiyanâ€™s legacy going and the fact that heâ€™s going into different organisations and speaking to young people every day about that situation means heâ€™s living that moment every single day. So, the amount of strength that he has to call on to be able do that, like I say, heâ€™s a massive inspiration.â€
- Embargoed: 31st May 2021 23:49
- Keywords: Digital version of murdered schoolboy footballer Kiyan Prince Dr Mark Prince EA Sports FIFA21 Kiyan Prince Foundation Lee Hoos Les Ferdinand QPR Queens Park Rangers
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA008EDHMWQN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Fifteen years after the life of aspiring young footballer Kiyan Prince was brutally ended outside his school gates, his boyhood dream of being signed by Queens Park Rangers (QPR) is coming true.
London-born Prince was making impressive progress in QPR's academy ranks in 2006 when, aged 15, he was fatally stabbed while attempting to break up a fight.
On Tuesday (May 18), on the anniversary of that tragic day, Prince will be officially re-signed by the club and given the squad number 30. Simultaneously, his computer-generated character will be available for players on EA Sports' FIFA 21 computer game.
It is another symbolic step in an unexpected life journey for Kiyan's father Dr Mark Prince OBE, a former IBF and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight boxing champion who shed feelings of rage and revenge to dedicate himself to Kiyan's memory.
â€œThe effort of everybody involved in this project to bring it to life, to make this a reality, and the reason, the power behind the story. Who the player would have become. Who my son was as a young man. What he would have turned out to become as a thirty year old player. And weâ€™re not just talking about his talent. The power in the message is his character, his leadership qualities, determination, hard work, his ethic, just his philosophy in life, to look out others, to be kind and thoughtful and caring," he told Reuters at QPR's ground, named in 2019 in honour of the Kiyan Prince Foundation https://www.thekpf.com/ Prince established to educate young people about the consequences of knife crime.
Special effects studio Framestore have designed Kiyan's character using advanced deep fake technology and photo-real illustration, together with input from family, former team mates and coaches on his personality and style, meaning the career Kiyan was denied can be celebrated 'virtually' on-screen.
â€œSeeing this day come, everything I felt inside me has been made true. Iâ€™ve seen it come to life. I spoke it back then that this was going to go international, that Kiyan would be saving lives, that something great was going to come of this. I spoke it back then. So to live it 15 years later and see it happen is something awesome for me. On another level,â€ Prince said.
Through the Kiyan Prince Foundation, Prince gives motivational talks and workshops to help young people make better choices and turn away from violence.
Former QPR, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Les Ferdinand, now QPR's director of football, has got to know Prince well and is full of admiration for his work.
"He has kept Kiyan's legacy going by going into organisations every day and having to re-live that moment every single day so the amount of strength that requires, he's a massive inspiration," Ferdinand told Reuters.
Ferdinand says the inclusion of Kiyan in the EA Sports platform could send a powerful message against carrying knives.
"Most of these guys, this generation, they play FIFA, they will see Kiyan and if that can change any just one of their mindsets then it will be a benefit," he said.
(Production: Stuart McDill)
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