Family's thanks after charity day in memory of South Shields teenager
The family of a much-loved cricketer say they have been touched by people's kindness as more than Â£1,000 was raised in his memory.
Jack Burden’s life was celebrated as those who knew and had grown up with him took to the crease at Marsden Cricket Club - where he played - on Sunday.
The six-a-side contest took place four years to the day the 18-year-old from South Shields died while on a school expedition to Africa.
The event was aiming to raise cash towards helping to fund water storage tanks, an outdoor kitchen and garden at the school in the African village of Gongo where he had been working when he lost his life after suffering an allergic reaction.
But thanks to people’s generosity on the day, enough has now been raised to ensure the work can now go ahead in Jack’s memory.
His dad Steve said: “It was a really good day and raised £1,000. Quite a few people turned up and they kept coming during the day.
“It was a hard day for us, seeing something like this happening and Jack not being there, but what made it easier for us all, is the way in which people remembered Jack, which meant a lot to us. His sister Sarah is currently in America and it was nice how people kept in touch with her.
“It was lovely seeing so many of his friends, and people who we haven’t seen for a while turning out to support the event. Hopefully we can turn it into an annual event.”
The tournament was won by Jack’s Ice Men - a team chosen by Jack’s family and made up of those who he played cricket and went to school with.”
Steve added: “Jack’s Ice Men winning the tournament was really nice and fitting for the day, as it was a team chosen by us, made up of those he played cricket and went to school with.
“On behalf of the family, we’d like to thank Caroline Curry and Lisa Rutherford, for their support and help, those who kept the bar and barbecue going, the club for their support and those who helped to make the day the success it was.”
Jack, who was a pupil at Harton Technology College, had been helping to build sports facilities when tragedy struck.
Since then, a yearly football match and other fundraisers have taken place, to raise enough cash to build a classroom in Gongo village which has now been completed.
This year’s football match will take place on Friday, August 10 at Harton Sports Centre at 7pm.