Blackpool lightning strike: Touching football tributes to Jordan Banks as flags drop to half mast for boy, 9, killed

TOUCHING tributes from youth football teams have been paid to a footie-mad nine-year-old boy killed by lightning.

Jordan Banks, 9, was taking part in a one-on-one training session in a field in Blackpool when the horror unfolded on Tuesday.

He was rushed to hospital but sadly couldn't be saved and died shortly after.

Fellow youth teams have now flooded Facebook with tributes – including some posting nine football emojis in honour of the youngster.

New Mills Juniors FC said: "Deepest condolences from all at New Mills Juniors for your loss. Our thoughts are with Jordan’s family, friends and all at your club..sleep tight young man".

Gemma Gwilt said: "Love and condolences to all your family and friends and all at the club at this tragic time. What an amazing young man you were! Keep shining bright! From all at Darlaston Town u10’s".

While Plymouth Parkway U8 Youth team said: "So sad. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and all his clifton team mates. Deepest condolences from Plymouth Parkway Youth u8s".

Blackpool Tower lit up red last night in memory of Jordan, while the town hall's flagwill be lowered at half-mast.

Jordan was a keen footballer and was praised earlier this year by Liverpool star James Milner for his "incredible" charity work.

The youngster raised £2,500 by running 30 miles for a local mental health charity in honour of his Uncle Reece, who took his own life in 2018.

Caring Jordan also left chocolates on police cars to cheer up officers during the pandemic.

A GoFundMe page set up in memory of Jordan has now raised more than £54,000.

In a statement, his family said: "Yesterday our worlds stopped. We lost the brightest star our beautiful boy Jordan.

"His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything. Wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving.

"Our love is endless. Goodnight beautiful boy. We thank you all for your kind words and support but as a family ask that you respect our wishes and privacy.”

Jordan's devastated stepdad Daniel Begg shared an emotional picture to Instagram showing him holding hands with the nine-year-old.

It was captioned: "Hand in hand….always" alongside three heart emojis.

Daniel was just feet away sitting in a car when the child was struck by the bolt of lightning, his friend said.

Campbell, whose son was friends with Jordan, said: “Jordan was having a one-to-one coaching session.

“His step-dad was in the car at the time. It is awful.

“He was having a coaching session at the time to help improve his game.

“I feel so sorry for his family and what they are going through.”

Mr Campbell's son CJ, 9, also paid tribute to his "best friend".

He said: “I am very sad about what happened.

“Jordan was my best friend and I’m going to miss him. I’ve known him since reception class.

“We played football against each other.

“He was very funny and caring and had raised money for charity. He was in my class at school.”

Tributes have flooded in from Jordan's football team, the Clifton Rangers Junior FC.

They said: "Jordan of our U9 Bees, tragically passed away yesterday evening doing what he loved.

"Jordan was a Shining Light and an inspiration to everyone that he met. A strong, determined and courageous young man, who will be missed by everyone.

"The world has truly lost an extraordinary young man, who had done so much good in his community.

"We cannot begin to imagine the grief of the family. Our thoughts, prayers, love and hugs go out to them all and to his teammates, friends and coaches who are devastated by the loss."

The club said they will be working with the Football Association to "support the family and anyone else touched by this tragedy".

Witnesses have told how the boy was struck as he trained in the storm.

One said: "It was a one-on-one football session. My sister saw him at school playing with his friends he was friends with my little nephew next minute we find out this so so sad.

"It's definitely hit hard as we knew his family personally you just wouldn't ever think something like that would happen it's so heartbreaking I mean what are the chances."

Officers were called to the sports field on School Road, Blackpool, shortly after 5pm on Tuesday to reports that a child had been injured.

Police say that although enquiries are still ongoing, at this time they "believe the boy had been struck by lightning."

Det Supt Nick Connaughton of Lancashire Police said: "This is a truly devastating incident and our thoughts are wholeheartedly with the family and friends of the young boy, who has passed away, at this very sad and distressing time."

Road closures in place following the incident have now been lifted.

Anybody with information about the incident, or who witnessed it and has not yet spoken to police is asked to get in touch on 101, quoting log 1169 of May 11.


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