United Kingdom

'Hero' boy killed by lightning left sweets for 999 workers in lockdown

The family of a nine-year-old boy who died after being struck by lightning have paid tribute to their 'brightest star' who was their 'everything'.

Nine-year-old Jordan Banks died on Tuesday after being struck by lightning on a football field in Blackpool on School Road at 5.05pm after a storm suddenly hit without warning. 

In a statement, Jordan's devastated 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.' 

Today hundreds paid tribute to the fundraising hero, who left sweets for 999 workers during lockdown and ran 30 miles to fundraise for mental health charities in honour of his uncle who took his own life, by posting nine ball emojis on Twitter. 

Police officers said enquiries are ongoing but it was believed the youngster was hit by a lightning bolt.

Liverpool fan Jordan, played as number 7 for the Clifton Rangers Bees Under 9s side, and was having one-on-one coaching at the time.

His stepfather was watching from the car when the tragedy struck and today a family member sank to his knees and sobbed at the spot where the lad was hit before leaving a bouquet of flowers.

His mother, father, stepfather and other family members hugged each other as they left the tributes left.

A spokesperson for Clifton Rangers JFC 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.'

Jordan's best friend CJ Campbell, nine, paid tribute to his pal by leaving a football and flowers. He was travelling home from the Lake District when he heard.

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. 

Hundreds paid tribute to inspirational Jordan Banks today by posting nine ball emojis on Twitter after he died on the sports pitch on School Road at 5.05pm last night after a storm suddenly hit without warning

Liverpool fan Jordan played as number 7 for the Clifton Rangers Bees Under 9s side and the club gave an emotional tribute

Jordan, pictured with his mother Danielle on January 16 in Blackpool, celebrating running over 30 miles in 10 days, in honour of his uncle who had taken his own life

Jordan, nine, was a charity hero who raised money for a mental health cause in honour of uncle

Floral tributes at Stanley School to pupil Jordan Banks, who was killed by lightning on a football field as he received coaching

Jordan's best friend CJ Campbell, nine, paid tribute to his pal by leaving a football and flowers

Jordan wore a special t-shirt in honour of his uncle when he was running to raise money

Tributes have poured in for the nine-year-old boy who was 'hit by a lightning bolt' while playing on a football pitch in Blackpool

Flowers and messages (above) have been left at what is believed to have been the spot where the boy was struck by lightning

Pictured: One of the hundreds of supportive messages, flowers and tributes left by well wishers at Common Edge playing fields in Blackpool

'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.' 

CJ's dad, Chris, a landscaper, 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.' 

Craig England and Jane Murphy, Co-Headteachers at Stanley Primary School, said: 'Everyone at Stanley Primary School is completely numb today, we have lost a member of our family.

'Jordan was a bright, bubbly pupil loved by staff and pupils alike. He was a very determined young man which was demonstrated by his charity efforts at the start of the year.

'His parents and family should be very proud of the young man he had become. He was so friendly and showed great compassion towards fellow pupils.

'Jordan's classmates have told us told how funny he was, always cracking jokes. We are beyond devastated that we won't see his cheerful face again.

'Our thoughts are with Jordan's family and will offer them any support we can.

'When the time is right we will plan a fitting tribute with his classmates and family.'       

Meanwhile Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: 'The whole town is shocked and devastated by the tragic accident that took place on Tuesday night on Common Edge Road playing fields.

'Our thoughts are with Jordan's family and friends. I can't imagine what they are going through but I hope they can take some comfort from the out pouring of love and support from the whole community.

'Our critical incident team have been at the school offering support to staff and pupils during this difficult time.

'A dedicated space has been created for pupils who require more support and we will do all we can to assist them.

'The flag at the Town Hall has been lowered to half-mast and tonight Blackpool Tower and the Illuminations arches will be lit in red as we know he was a keen Liverpool FC fan.'

Just months ago Jordan had been hailed a hero by Milner, 35, after he heard he ran 30 miles to raise over £2,500 for a local mental health organisation.

The young lad decided to do it in honour of his Uncle Reece, who took his own life in 2018 and would have turned 30 this year.

Jordan Banks with his late uncle Reece, who he started his fundraising drive in his memory after he took his own life

Lightning strikes kill two people in UK a year 

Fatal lightning strikes are exceptionally rare in the UK and account for an average of two deaths a year.  

Between 30 and 60 people are hit by lightning every year in the UK, according to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Experts recommend that if the conditions approach, people should take cover inside or in a car with the windows wound up.

Contrary to folklore and generally accepted-advice isolated trees don't give enough protection.

If you are in the house all non-essential appliances, including the television, should be unplugged to protect against power surges. 

Milner told him: '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. 

'Just remember you'll never walk alone. All the boys are behind you and I'll send you a couple of shirts - one for yourself for doing an amazing thing and another that you can hopefully raise a bit of money from and put it towards all the money you're raising. Well done bud, it's an amazing achievement and you should be very proud.'

Jordan was found with serious injuries before being rushed to hospital but he later died. 

The boy is believed to have been at a training session at grounds used by Spirit of Youth FC when it happened, but is not a member of the club.

Club secretary Daniel Pack said: 'Unfortunately, we don't know much at the moment. We extend our sincerest condolences to the family involved.'

He added: 'We are all very upset and saddened by this whole thing. The whole club is shocked.'

The club posted: '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.

Police were called to the sports pitch on School Road at 5.05pm following reports a child had been injured

Officers said enquiries are ongoing but it is believed the youngster was hit by a lightning bolt

The boy was found with serious injuries before being rushed to hospital but he later died

'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.

'Spirit of Youth is a family and we are entrenched in the local community, and we will give whatever support is required to both the family and to those that were with him at the time.

'We would ask that people respect the privacy of the family at this most tragic of times. Rest In Peace young man.'

Detective Superintendent 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.'

A police spokesman said: A nine-year-old boy has sadly died following an incident on a football field shortly after 5.05pm today.

'Although enquiries are still ongoing, we believe the boy was struck by lightning. Our thoughts are with the boy's family at this sad time. School Road has reopened.'

Police officers and an air ambulance were seen on the football pitches, shortly after a sudden thunderstorm hit the area.

A rapid response vehicle, an air ambulance van and four police vans were still at the scene around 6.30pm.

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