Mufti Ismail Menk joined Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray at the opening of a new multi-faith prayer area at Ewood Park.

The new-look facility, which is located inside the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End, has been designed to provide existing staff and supporters with a quiet space for prayer and reflection, as well as to encourage fans from all faiths and backgrounds to attend more games and functions at the stadium. 

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Following some introductory speeches in the club’s Media Theatre from Rovers’ Chief Executive Steve Waggott, Mufti Menk, Councillor Pat McFall, the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, and Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, the invited guests then made their way to the refurbished prayer room for the officially opening.

Steve Waggott said: “We are delighted to be able to offer fans of all faiths a fantastic facility of this kind.

“Everyone at the club remains committed to working towards inclusion under the #OneRovers banner and we look forward to welcoming supporters and members of the public to use the revamped room, starting from this weekend." 

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Mufti Menk is regarded as one of the leading scholars of his generation and travels the world helping to share his message of ‘peace and love’ to people of all faiths.

Speaking at the launch Mufti Menk said, “I would really like to congratulate the club because as we know communities are extremely important and this club serves all the communities.

“The fact that we have this afternoon the opening of the multi-faith room is another feather in the cap for the club in bringing the communities together. What stands out for me is that the prayer room caters for people of diverse faiths.”

He added, “I want to also congratulate those who made this possible and I think this initiative needs to be supported and it is one of the reasons I am here.

 “Well done and I pray we witness great success and this can be model for others as well and it can be a model for the integration of peoples of diverse faiths.”

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Rovers were among the first football clubs in the country to open a facility of this kind back in 2008. 

Available to use for the first time at this weekend's Championship match with Millwall, the updated space is a continuation of Rovers' commitment to promoting inclusion and engaging with its diverse local community. 

Last month, Rovers held its first ever #OneRovers Festival.

Waggott added: “The local community is hugely important to us as a club and is an area we take very seriously. 

"We cater for all at Rovers - we already have a sensory room, have headsets for our blind supporters and almost every area of Ewood Park is accessible.

"We've had a prayer room before, but this is a real key area for us with our new, relocated, refurbished prayer room, which is not only available on matchdays, but 365 days a year.

"I see this as the next step and another part of the football mosaic that we're putting together here at Rovers."

Supporters who wish to use the multi-faith room should report to the Blackburn End Reception, where they will be provided with access to the facility.