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Jordan Banks: First picture of boy, 9, killed in freak lightning storm as he played football

·3-min read
<p>Jordan Banks had raised over £3,000 for mental health charities after his uncle commited suicide</p> (Just Giving)

Jordan Banks had raised over £3,000 for mental health charities after his uncle commited suicide

(Just Giving)

This is the first picture of a young footballer who was tragically killed after being “struck by lightning” as he was being coached on the pitch.

The boy, named locally as Jordan Banks, died “doing what he loved” his club said in an emotional statement released today.

Jordan, who raised thousands for charity in his short life, was hit shortly after 5pm on Tuesday at the Common Edge Road area of Blackpool while taking part in a private coaching session, the BBC reported.

The winger had received praise from his footballing idol James Milner after he attempted to run 30 miles in honour of his uncle, Reece Begg, who committed suicide in 2018.

A statement from Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club on their Facebook: “It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart we announce that the tragic incident yesterday involved one of our own players

“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.”

Common Edge football pitchesGoogle Streetview
Common Edge football pitchesGoogle Streetview

It added: “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 youngster raised more than £2,300 for Blackpool-based mental health service Counselling in the Community, which helps 110 clients each week.

Det Supt Nick Connaughton 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.”

Earlier in the year, James Milner recorded a video for him after hearing of his fundraising exploits.

He said: “Hi Jordan, how’s it going? I’ve heard that you’re doing an amazing thing in raising funds for counselling in honour of your uncle Reece.

“I think running a marathon is an incredible feat, and it’s difficult with people doing it with legs a lot bigger than yours, but to do 30 miles is incredible.

“I heard you get called Mini-Milner because you’re very determined, so that’s an amazing skill to have. Never ever give up and I hear you’ve been out in all weather fighting in the cold and the rain, so you keep going, and keep doing what you’re doing mate.”

Blackpool South’s MP Scott Benton said he was “incredibly sorry to hear this tragic and heartbreaking news”.

“I’m sure I speak for the whole community when I say that everybody in Blackpool will be thinking of the boy’s family and friends at this sad time,” he said.

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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