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Cricket day to be held in memory of Jack Burden

Jack Burden lost his life four years ago.
Jack Burden lost his life four years ago.

The memory of a South Tyneside teenager will be kept alive through the sport he loved - four years to the day he lost his life while on a school expedition to Africa

A day dedicated to Jack Burden will take place at Marsden Cricket Club, based at Jack Clark Park, on Sunday with a six-a-side competition.

Youngsters in the classroom built in Jack Burden's memory.

Youngsters in the classroom built in Jack Burden's memory.

The 18-year-old, from South Shields, was with fellow pupils from Harton Technology College, when he suffered a severe allergic reaction. Despite immediate first aid and treatment he could not be saved.

Now the club he played for is coming together in a celebration of his life - supported by his family and friends.

Dad Steven said: “We are just pleased the club still remembers Jack and that his memory is being carried on.

“It is coming up to four years since it happened and it is hard, but the fact all these things are taking place in honour of Jack, it does give some comfort.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for all their generosity in keeping Jack’s dreams and memories alive.

Steve Burden

Since the tragedy, a yearly football match has taken place, people have also taken part in the Great North Run and the Yorkshire Three Peaks, to raise cash to build a classroom in Gongo village where he had been helping to build sports facilities for a local school when he died. It is estimated around £20,000 has been raised.

His mum Alison said: “Since we lost Jack our family and friends have raised money to build a classroom in Gongo village where Jack was working when he died.

“The school there was so small the children could only attend in half days to ensure all the children had some education. By building a new classroom it now means that all the children can attend all day everyday.

“We are now raising further money for water storage tanks for the village - currently children have to bring their own water to school, sometimes from dirty pools and rivers - and also a community garden where the village can plant and grow more produce.”

Alison added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for all their generosity in keeping Jack’s dreams and memories alive.”

Club chairman Gary Goyal said: “Jack’s death had a huge impact on the club and its members, and that pain is still felt very much today by those who knew him, as it was back then.

“He was a valued member of the club, and it is only right, as a club we pay tribute to his memory through a sport he loved.”

Matches start 10am, with raffles, BBQ and Penalty Shootout.