Blackpool lightning strike: Family tribute to Jordan Banks

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image copyrightFamily handout
image captionJordan Banks was "caring, considerate, generous and so loving", say his family

The family of a nine-year-old boy killed after being struck by lightning during football training said he was "the brightest star" and "our everything".

Jordan Banks was injured when a thunderstorm hit as he was on a playing field in Blackpool on Tuesday evening.

A statement from his family said "our worlds stopped" when "we lost our beautiful boy".

Jordan had an "infectious smile" and was "wise beyond his years", it added.

'Beyond devastated'

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries after being struck by lightning at about 17:00 BST but died a short time later, Lancashire Police said.

His family described him as "caring, considerate, generous and so loving", adding "yesterday our worlds stopped".

The statement added: "We lost the brightest star our beautiful boy Jordan.

"His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything."

image captionFlowers, football boots and messages of condolence have been placed on the field

Flowers, footballs, football shirts and messages of condolence have been left at the playing field on Common Edge Road.

People have also been posting nine footballs on social media in honour of the keen Liverpool FC fan, using the hashtag #RIPLittleMan.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner, who had previously sent Jordan a congratulatory video message for completing a charity run for a mental health charity, tweeted: "A special boy taken far too soon."

The youngster ran 30 miles in 10 days in memory of his uncle earlier this year, raising £3,000.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Craig England and Jane Murphy, co-head teachers at Stanley Primary School, where Jordan went to school, said everyone was "completely numb" and they were "beyond devastated that we won't see [Jordan's] cheerful face again".

He was a "bright, bubbly pupil loved by staff and pupils alike" and was a "very determined young man demonstrated by his charity efforts", they added.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

One of his best friends, CJ, and his father laid flowers and a football on the field.

The nine-year-old said: "He was very kind and caring. Football was very important to him. He loved it. He played it every day and at school with me."

At the scene, BBC correspondent Nick Garnett

Throughout the day flowers, footballs and football shirts have been left in remembrance of a life snatched away playing the game Jordan Banks loved so much.

His family and friends have described him as a "superstar footballer", telling me he lived for football and played at every single opportunity he could.

He came here after school with a small group of people for specialist training.

Grassroots football is coming to the end of the season and there were some crucial matches coming up and he was absolutely determined to play.

Jordan played for Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club, who described him as "an extraordinary young man".

Two crowdfunding pages have been set up in his memory, raising more than £46,000.

Liverpool FC tweeted that the thoughts of everybody at the club were with Jordan's family and friends.  

image copyrightJustGiving
image captionJordan raised £3,000 for a mental health charity in memory of his uncle

MPs paid tribute to the nine-year-old during a debate in the House of Commons.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston sent the government's condolences, adding Jordan's club and the local community were "clearly devastated by his loss, as evidenced by the absolute outpouring on social media".

The flag at Blackpool town hall was flying at half-mast in tribute to Jordan and Blackpool Tower and the Illuminations arches were lit up in red in homage to his beloved Liverpool FC.

The leader of Blackpool Council, Lynn Williams, said the whole town was "devastated".

She said she hoped Jordan's family and friends would "take some comfort from the outpouring of love and support from the whole community".

Training on the playing fields, which are owned by the council, has been cancelled until further notice.

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