Murdered schoolboy lives soccer dream in video game

This is Kiyan Prince.

The aspiring soccer player was killed outside his school gates when he was just 15 years-young.

Now, fifteen years later, Kiyan's boyhood dream of being signed by Queens Park Rangers is coming true.

He will appear as a computer-generated character available for players on EA Sports' FIFA 21 computer game.

Courtesy: EA Sports

Kiyan's father, Mark Prince, worked with special effects teams and his son’s former teammates to design his character using advanced deep fake technology and photo-real illustration.

''FIFA21 is absolutely incredible. The 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 we’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.''

Courtesy: Kiyan Prince Foundation

The London-born teenager was making impressive progress in Queen Park Rangers' academy ranks when he received a single fatal stab wound while attempting to break up a fight.

His father founded the Kiyan Prince Foundation in 2007 – a non-profit committed to combatting knife crime and helping young people make better choices.

Queens Park Rangers CEO Lee Hoos - speaking from the club’s ground which was named in the teenager’s honor in 2019 - said Kiyan was a very, very good player who was very much on an upward trajectory when he died.

''So he could have been anything. It’s just unfortunate that he never got that chance. So for us to have this happen and have him leave this legacy, trying to reach young people and making sure that no other young people are taken from us sooner than they should be I think is a fantastic testament to what this was all about. And it’s given Mark the platform that he needs to reach people, because he’s a very, very powerful speaker, his message is strong. And he’s taken something that is absolutely horrible and turned it into something that can really touch and help a lot of people’s lives.''

Kiyan's virtual character will also appear on some of the UK's most iconic billboards including Piccadilly Circus as part of an advertising campaign for JD Sports.

''Seeing this day come, everything I felt inside me has been made true. I’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.''

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