'HEARTBROKEN' Brits in Blackpool have donated more than £63,000 following the loss of "beautiful soul" Jordan Banks.
The nine-year-old died in a freak accident, after being struck by lightning on a football field in Blackpool.
Who was Jordan Banks?
Heartbreaking tributes are pouring in for a nine-year-old who died after being fatally struck by lightning in Blackpool on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
On May 12, he was identified as a youth football player named Jordan Banks.
Jordan, a Liverpool fan, played as an under-nine for Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club, which confirmed his death on Facebook.
A keen footballer, he 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.
Flowers have been left at the scene for the "little superstar" with a local church to hold services later.
What happened to Jordan Banks?
Witnesses have now told how the boy was struck by lightning just after 5pm as he trained in a 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?"
Chris, a landscaper whose son, CJ Campbell, was a friend of the footballer, 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.”
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 said they "believed the boy had been struck by lightning".
Emergency services attended and he was taken to hospital, but sadly died a short time later.
What tributes have been paid to Jordan Banks?
Iconic landmark Blackpool Tower was lit up in red on May 12 to reflect local mourning.
In a tweet, the tourist site said that Blackpool had "lost one of its brightest lights, so this evening we stand alongside Jordan Banks' family, friends and our community to remember a remarkable young man".
Lytham Windmill in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, was lit up in yellow on May 12, also in memory of Jordan.
The England football team was among the many offering their condolences to the family.
England Football described what happened as "so sad", and tweeted: "We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Jordan Banks's family and all those affected by this terrible tragedy.
"@LancashireFA is in contact with @Clifton_jfc and will continue to provide support to them."
Jordan’s best friend CJ Campbell, nine, paid tribute to his pal by leaving a football and flowers.
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.”
In a poignant post Clifton Rangers wrote: "It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart we announce that the tragic incident yesterday (May 11) 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.
"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.
"At this time, whilst we come to terms with this most devastating loss, we will not be making any further comment.
"Fly high young man, sleep tight and god bless."
Spirit of Youth Junior FC, which uses the playing field, also paid tribute to Jordan.
The club said: “It is with deepest regret that we have to report the news that the young boy who was struck by lightning earlier this evening has sadly passed away.
“The tragic incident happened on our home ground at Common Edge playing fields but it was not during a club training session.
“As a club, we are heartbroken and we offer our deepest condolences to the boy’s family.
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."
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."
How do I donate to the Jordan Banks GoFundMe page?
Jessica Marr has organised a fundraiser on GoFundMe to "help give back to such an incredibly, thoughtful and caring young lad who has been taken way too soon in a tragic incident.
"All money will be going to the Family of Jordan, to help towards funeral costs and anything extra will be spent however the family chose to spend it."
Nearly £64,000 has been raised for his grieving family, with people commenting about the "heartbreaking, tragic loss".
More than £220 was donated by Blackpool street cabs to the fundraising page, which you can click on via HERE.
Peter Brewer posted on behalf of the local cabbies: "We send our deepest condolences to the young man's family and friends. Words cannot express how numb we are just now. Rest in peace little man."
What have Jordan Banks's parents said?
The heartbroken family of the lightning strike victim have paid tribute to their "brightest star" with "golden curls".
In a statement, his family said on Wednesday: "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 on Instagram, showing him holding hands with the nine-year-old.
It was captioned: "Hand in hand….always" next to three heart emojis.
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