Danny Simpson has revealed that his decision to become a patron of the Kiyan Prince Foundation was influenced by his own personal experience of knife crime.
QPR youth player Kiyan was just 15 when he fatally stabbed outside a school in Edgware in 2006. His father Mark set up the foundation in the years following, in an attempt to educate young people against the use of blades.
Rangers defender Simpson donated his match boots and shirt after the match against Huddersfield Town. The shirt was signed by the entire squad and auctioned at a charity event in aid of the foundation.
The 26-year-old said that he decided to lend his support in light of his own experience, which came when he was a youngster playing for Manchester United.
“I had an incident myself when one of my friends got stabbed outside my house six or seven years ago,” said Simpson. “Some people were trying to rob my house, I was inside and my friend popped over. They thought he had keys and he didn’t.
“I heard all the screaming and shouting. For whatever reason, he got stabbed. I opened the door and there was blood everywhere. They realised what they had done and ran off.
“He recovered, but some don’t.”
Mark Prince, a former WBO inter-continental light-heavyweight champion in his own right, said Simpson had ‘set a precedent’ by helping the charity’s work.
And Simpson said he is looking forward to trying to help more young people stay away from knife crime.
“The things I have been involved in and the thing’s I’ve seen, I feel like I can try to guide them and stop them going down that road,” he said.
“We’ll be working on things over the next few months. Hopefully I’ll go back to my old school with him and speak to the kids there.
“I just thought that because of my experience I could help a bit more. You are in a position where kids might listen to you more than someone who they don’t watch on a weekend. I’d like to think that if I do sit down with kids they will listen to me.”