FAMILY, friends and former teammates of a much-loved teenage footballer who died tragically five years ago aim to celebrate his life this weekend.
Eighteen-year-old Aaron Todd died from head injuries when he fell out of a taxi and hit his head in Hedworth Lane, Jarrow, on March 29, 2009.
Aaron, of Kirkstone Avenue, Jarrow, died in hospital six days later.
An all-day tribute event in his honour is to be staged at Jarrow’s Perth Green Community Association on Saturday to mark his short life.
The day will include a football match between two of the teams Aaron played for – Jarrow FC of the Wearside League and Robertson Scaffolding, of the Sunday Morning League.
There will also be an appearance from another of the teenager’s teams, Leam Rangers, also of the Wearside League.
It is planned that the match – known as the Aaron Todd Memorial Shield – will become an annual event.
There will be raffles through the day, a bouncy castle, vans selling ice cream and hot dogs, a penalty shoot-out and live music in the evening at the community centre, with the whole day of celebrations taking place between 11am and midnight.
Organiser Chris Thompson, Aaron’s former coach, said: “It will be a celebration of Aaron’s life. I coached him at under-13 and under-16 level and he was a fantastic lad.
“He was a cheeky chappie with a heart of gold who would do anything for you.
“It was such a tragedy that we lost him so early. We have the backing of his mum Karen, and we’d invite anyone who knew and loved him to come along.”
Tickets for the night-time event are £5, and are available from Perth Green CA and the Red Hackle pub, or by calling Mr Thompson on 0789 6803738.
All funds raised will go to the intensive care unit at Newcastle General Hospital, where Aaron was treated in the days before his death.
Special thanks go to Lee Hughes, of the Red Hackle, Ian Gibson, of Perth Green CA and Jimmy Kane, chairman of Jarrow FC, for their support.