A nine-year-old boy who died after being struck by lightning had “touched the hearts” of police officers when he left sweets on their cars during lockdown.
Footballers and MPs have been among those to pay tribute to Jordan Banks, from Blackpool, who died after being seriously injured on a playing field just after 5pm on Tuesday.
On Thursday, a post on the Blackpool Police Facebook page said: “Back in January when the country was in lockdown, Jordan was secretly leaving sweets and chocolates on police cars in Blackpool to cheer up our police officers.
Yesterday we told you about the sad news of Jordan Banks from Blackpool.Today we would like to pay tribute to the…
“We are eternally grateful to him for the care he showed us during challenging times throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“Jordan’s actions touched the hearts of our officers and we will always remember his kindness.”
The England football team also paid tribute to Jordan, describing what happened as “so sad”.
It 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.”
Jordan was taken to hospital after he was injured while on the football fields on School Road, but died a short time later.
In a statement released by Lancashire Police, Jordan’s 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.”
Blackpool Tower was lit up red on Wednesday night in honour of Jordan, who was reportedly a Liverpool fan.
A statement on Liverpool Football Club’s Twitter said: “The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Jordan’s family and friends. Rest in peace, Jordan Banks,” while Liverpool midfielder James Milner added: “A special boy taken far too soon.”
Two GoFundMe pages were set up in memory of the youngster, with one raising more than £50,000 by Thursday morning from more than 3,000 donors.
One page praised Jordan’s charity work and said he had raised £3,000 earlier this year for a mental health charity in memory of his uncle.
Jordan was described as “a shining light” by his football club.
In a statement on Facebook, the Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club said: “It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart we announce that the tragic incident yesterday 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.”
A photo on the Blackpool FC Twitter page showed players standing behind nine footballs in Jordan’s memory.
The post said: “The thoughts of everyone at Blackpool FC are with Jordan’s family and friends.”
MPs also paid tribute to Jordan during a House of Commons debate on community football.
Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans told the chamber: “Can I on behalf of the Speaker and the British Parliament send our condolences to his family and to all his teammates at the Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club and all his friends?
“The hearts of the British Parliament and our love go to you all.”