The family of the young boy who is believed to have died after being struck by lightning on a football field in Blackpool earlier this week have posted a heartfelt tribute.
It was revealed during the touching tribute that nine-year-old was an organ donor.
In a post on Facebook, Matt Banks – the father of Jordan Banks, who sadly died on Tuesday following a tragic incident in Blackpool during adverse weather conditions – shared a series of previously-unseen family photos and said his son’s “kindness has meant that three other children may be able to live”.
“He always told us he wanted to be able to help other people if he could so was a donor and has donated which we know will be what he wanted,” Mr Banks added.
Mr Banks went on to describe Jordan as the “most amazing” person with the “biggest heart”.
“If I ever could have asked for a perfect child, that was Jordan,” he added.
“He always made sure he looked trendy and liked his outfit. His favourite t-shirt was his Cobra Kai top, as he was obsessed with Cobra Kai.”
“Not only have I lost my little boy, I have lost my little best mate”.
It was known that before he died, Jordan – who was a loyal fan of Liverpool FC – was raising money for mental health services in honour of his uncle who took his own life in 2018, and successfully managed to raise a whopping £2,500 in total by running 30 miles in 10 days.
His efforts attracted the attention of his hero, Liverpool footballer James Milner, who sent him a video congratulating him on his “incredible” work, and said: “Just remember you never walk alone, all the boys are behind you… well done bud you should be very proud”.
Lancashire Police also told of how Jordan left sweets on police cars to help cheer officers up during lockdown earlier this year.
Since news of the tragic incident emerged on Tuesday, a number of poignant tributes have made by members of the local Blackpool community, and messages have been pouring in on social media from all across the UK.
Jordan’s friends have paid tribute with flowers and gifts left at the scene of the incident.
Blackpool Tower was also lit up red and a tweet from the staff at the landmark said: “Yesterday, our community 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. #LiverpoolFC.”
Liverpool FC has made a number of tributes to Jordan on social media, first in an initial tweet on Wednesday which read: “The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Jordan’s family and friends.
“Rest in peace, Jordan Banks.”
In a follow-up tribute tweet ahead of the club’s Premier League clash with Manchester United, Liverpool FC said: “You’ll Never Walk Alone, Jordan Banks. Nicknamed ‘mini-Milner’ by his coaches, Jordan was a brilliant person, as well as a passionate footballer.
“We’re all thinking of his loved ones tonight”.
Ahead of Thursday’s match, Liverpool players also wore shirts with “Jordan 7” on the back in tribute to the nine-year-old, and James Milner later dedicated Liverpool’s victory to the youngster.
He tweeted with a series of heart emojis: “A big win for Jordan.”
A GoFundMe page set up for Jordan’s family has already raised nearly £75,000.
Police arrest four men and shut down ‘incredibly dangerous’ cannabis farm in Salford
Police have shut down a suspected cannabis farm in Salford today, arresting four men.
Officers swooped on the property on Arthur Street in Swinton after finding evidence that the house was being used to grow cannabis plants.
The farm has been described as ‘incredibly dangerous’ to other occupants in the area.
Three rooms in the house were full of plants growing, with a huge amount of wiring surrounding them that posed a fire hazard.
The four men detained by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Salford Neighbourhood Team were subsequently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the production and supply of cannabis and remain in police custody for questioning.
Sergeant Peter MacFarlane said: “Locating a cannabis farm is a great result for the team who are gathering intelligence and working hard to crackdown on drug-related crime across Salford.
“Farms of this nature are also incredibly dangerous to other occupants in the area. The building itself is still being made safe due to the amount of wiring around the plants. Criminals running these types of enterprises have no regard for public safety and in these conditions, an electrical fault from bad wiring could easily start a fire and endanger lives.
“The arrests and seizures then go someway towards disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that comes with it, and will also make our communities safer.
“This operation was intelligence led and a huge part of our intelligence comes from members of the public sharing information with us. If you have suspicions about a crime taking place please report it so we can take positive action and bring those responsible to justice.”
You can make a report by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report via the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: GMP
‘Groundbreaking’ new app to help get homeless people into work launches in Manchester
Homeless families across Manchester are set to benefit from a “groundbreaking” new service that gives them access to employment support.
With the ultimate aim of helping homeless people move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes, Manchester City Council has announced a new pilot partnership with Beam – a social enterprise that fundraises on behalf of homeless people and connects them with a supportive online community.
Through Beam’s “innovative” app-based platform, homeless people can raise money for items that often end up being financial obstacles to them moving into a permanent home, whether than be funding equipment or training to help them secure stable and financially-viable employment, or towards a rental deposit, moving van, or other homeware essentials, and everything in between.
Donations come from people in the local community, and are shared out equally between participants, so that everyone reaches their fundraising target within an average of 17 days.
Having helped more than 1,300 homeless people “achieve their goals” since being founded in 2017, Beam isn’t just about funding, as it also has a team of caseworkers who provide one-to-one help with employment to those in need.
The caseworkers also lend a hand with searching for properties online, communicating with landlords, and booking house viewings, while Beam also works with a network of vetted landlords to help people find a home
The initiative also provides further support for at least six months after moving.
Over the next year, Manchester City Council says its pilot partnership with Beam will initially support 25 families who are living in temporary accommodation in the region, and move them into their own private rental homes.
Residents can be referred to the scheme by the Council’s housing teams, as well as other local services, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam, who then supports them on their journey into stable housing.
“No one chooses homelessness voluntarily,” admitted Councillor Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“And when it happens, it can be devastating, which is why we are looking at a range of solutions to help people secure affordable and decent homes in Manchester.
“Our new partnership with Beam is an innovative approach to improve people’s life chances, supporting them, where possible, into sustainable jobs allowing them to move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes.