'Courageous young man': boy, 9, killed after being struck by lightning named

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 1:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 2:08 pm

A nine-year-old boy who died after apparently being struck by lightning on a football field in Blackpool has been named in reports as Jordan Banks.

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Jordan was taking part in a one to one football training session on the Common Edge playing fields when he was hit at around 5.05pm on May 11, the Blackpool Gazette has reported.

Police, ambulance and air ambulance services were called following the freak accident, which happened during a sudden thunderstorm that was not forecast by the Met Office.

Jordan was taken to hospital with serious injuries where he later died.

'Courageous young man'

A spokesman for the Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club 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 will be working with the FA to support the family and anyone touched by this tragedy and ensure they get the help they need."

Flowers, football shirts and cards have been placed on the field in tribute to him today.

The union flag flying over the Town Hall has been lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect.

'Devestating incident'

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.”

Jordan was an amateur athlete who in January ran 30 miles in memory of his uncle, Reece Begg, who took his own life in 2018.

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

His family is being supported by a police liaison officer. His teachers and classmates will receive support from Blackpool Council.

Andy Mellor, president of Blackpool NAHT, which represents schools locally, said: “We are still trying to make sense of things. The head teacher and the deputy will be supporting the children the best they can.

“At the moment, we need to give them time to grieve as a school, to come to terms with the loss of a child in their community. No doubt in the future there will be opportunity to celebrate this child’s life. At the moment we want to give the school the space to come to terms with it.

“It has been just a few hours since it all happened. The school has no doubt been working overnight with the council’s critical incident team about supporting the school.

“Like with any bereavement we need to give them time to come to terms with what has happened, and once that has happened NHAT will be reaching out to support our members within the school. It’s a very strong school; the head and deputy will be making every effort to support pupils and I know the governors will be rallying round as well.”