LONDON, ENGLAND – On Tuesday, 23 October, friends and supporters of Grassroot Soccer enjoyed a private screening of Bohemian Rhapsody at Ham Yard Hotel in London. The movie is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. This much anticipated film traces the meteoric rise of the band culminating in their performance at Live Aid – heralded as one the greatest performances in the history of rock music, while Freddie bravely faced his recent AIDS diagnosis.
Freddie Mercury died in 1991 of AIDS-related pneumonia. He was one of the first high-profile celebrities to die from AIDS. 27 years after his passing, major medical advances have been made in HIV prevention and treatment, but the world has not advanced nearly enough when it come to stigma around AIDS.
Therefore it’s fitting that Grassroot Soccer was the proud recipient of support from the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity established in honor of Freddie. This funding helped to fuel the development of our SKILLZ Plus programming to help HIV-positive youth with ongoing education and social support. Thanks to the Trust, this program took root in Zambia, and we have now adapted it to multiple countries.
Grassroot Soccer was honored to be chosen to benefit from this exclusive opportunity and to share it with our friends and supporters before the film goes on general release on 2 November. All proceeds from the evening will enable Grassroot Soccer to honor Freddie’s legacy to provide role models, health education, life skills and linkages to health services to young people at a critical point in their lives. Thank you to 20th Century Fox and to all our guests!