Ex-professional footballers team up with family of Jordan Banks for charity match in his memory
The dad and stepdad of Jordan Banks teamed up with ex-pro footballers for a charity match, to raise money for Blackpool Victoria Hospital in his memory.
Ex-Blackpool players Trevor Sinclair and Alan Wright were among the professionals who took part in the match at AFC Fylde on Saturday (June 26), to pay tribute to Jordan, nine, who was tragically struck by lightning in a thunderstorm on May 12.
Ian Evatt, John Hills, Gavin McCann, Jamie Milligan, Steve Thompson and former Premier League referee Neil Swarbrick also took part in the commemorative match.
Local football coach Daz Meehan, 50, a fire safety officer in the NHS, organises a match for the Vic's in-house charity Blue Skies Hospitals Fund every year - and this year it was in Jordan's memory.
Despite having no personal connection to the family, Daz and the rest of the team were so moved by the news of his death that they set out to honour him in the best way they could.
Daz said: "When I heard about the devastating news I just thought it seemed right that we should help a young family who must be going through a very distressing time.
"For me and all the players involved it was a no-brainer to use this opportunity to raise some funds for them."
This year, the coveted trophy was renamed to “The Jordan Blue Skies Trophy”, in honour of the “amazing young man who selflessly did so much for this community."
Half of the proceeds from the match will go to Blue Skies, and the other half will go to Brian House Children's Hospice, a charity chosen by Jordan's family.
In a joint statement, Jordan's dad Matt Banks and stepdad Daniel Begg, who both took part in the match, said: "Thank you to everyone who came together to make this event happen. We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had since Jordan passed. You’ve all made a very difficult time that little bit easier.”
So far, around £2,000 has been raised for the two charities, and donations can still be made here.Blue Skies is also holding an auction of football memorabilia to raise money as part of the football tournament.
Kila Redfearn, head of fundraising at Blue Skies said: “When I was asked if half the proceeds this year could go towards Jordan’s family, the answer, in a heartbeat was of course, yes.
"As a mum of four, I cannot imagine how hard this must be for the family and friends of Jordan, so we are only too happy to help.”