Memorial garden for tragic South Shields youngster Jak Fada unveiled at his former school

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.
A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

The former school of tragic South Shields youngster Jak Fada has paid him a permanent tribute - with a memorial garden was opened in his honour.

Jak passed away aged just 10 last November after suffering a ruptured heart artery.

Jak Fada and mum Ashley Tomlin, who passed away within weeks of each other.

Jak Fada and mum Ashley Tomlin, who passed away within weeks of each other.

Cruelly, his mum, Ashley Tomlin, died from the same condition just weeks later.

Pupils and staff at Westoe Crown Primary School, where Jak attended, was left devastated by the double tragedy.

Headteacher Steve Price says staff and pupils wanted to ensure they were never forgotten, and so Jak’s Corner, a peaceful memorial garden, was set up.

Children made ceramic poppies to be displayed in the new area, with the poppies created in the colours of South Shields FC and Newcastle United, football-mad Jak’s favourite teams.

It was a very nice occasion and a nod to Jak to make sure his family realises he will never be forgotten here

Steve Price

The school also placed 32 slate hearts in the garden to mark the 32 years of Ashley’s life.

Staff members from South Shields FC, including player Carl Finnigan – who coached Jak – were at the official opening of the garden, which was also marked with a small football game.

Mr Price said it was a fitting tribute to Jak.

He said: “It was a very nice occasion and a nod to Jak to make sure his family realises he will never be forgotten here.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

“Jak was the life and soul of the party.

“He was interested in everything and was very active.

“Both he and his mum are sorely missed.

“I think the project of the memorial garden has really helped the children, staff and Jak’s family to come together as a mark of respect.”

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school. South Shields FC player Carl Finnigan with the poppy he made in memory of the youngster.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school. South Shields FC player Carl Finnigan with the poppy he made in memory of the youngster.

A sponsored walk was held on the day of the unveiling, with the funds going towards the creation of the garden.

Within the new space, Jak’s former school goalkeeper shirt has been put on display in a frame in a further nod to the talented youngster.

South Shields player Carl Finnigan was joined at the opening of the garden by managers Graham Fenton and Lee Picton, among other club representatives.

Mr Price has paid tribute to the way the club has helped over recent months.

He added: “It was really nice of South Shields FC to send representatives again, because it really thrilled the children.

“We’re over the moon that they spent some time in the school and even made a poppy.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

“It was a really nice touch.”

Following the sponsored walk, the school has now launched a mile a day campaign, which encourages each child to complete a 15-minute run during every school day.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.

A memorial garden for Jak Fada has been opened at his former school.