Heartfelt tributes paid to Jak Fada on emotional day at South Shields FC

Heartfelt tributes were paid to tragic youngster Jak Fada on an emotionally-charged afternoon at the home of his favourite football team.

Jak, from Westoe, passed away at the age of just 10 on November 6 after suffering a ruptured heart artery.

Jak's parents, Ashley Tomlin and Tony Fada, during the minute's applause in memory of their son. Picture by Peter Talbot.

Jak's parents, Ashley Tomlin and Tony Fada, during the minute's applause in memory of their son. Picture by Peter Talbot.

The Westoe Crown Primary School pupil was a huge fan of South Shields FC, and on Saturday they played their first home game since his death.

Ahead of the match against Droylsden, a minute’s applause took place in memory of the popular schoolboy, and a further round of applause was held in the 10th minute of the game.

Jak’s family, including parents Ashley Tomlin and Tony Fada, were at the match as guests of the club. The funeral service and wake for the youngster had also taken place at the ground last Wednesday.

The Mariners went on to win Saturday’s game 6-1, with Jak’s favourite player, Carl Finnigan, scoring the opening goal in the 10th minute.

Jak Fada was a huge fan of South Shields FC.

Jak Fada was a huge fan of South Shields FC.

Carl, along with team-mate Barrie Smith, had coached Jak on several occasions at the club’s holiday coaching courses, and both were at the funeral.

The striker was also wearing the number 10 shirt, and told of his emotion after the game.

Carl said: “It was a very difficult week for everybody involved in the club.

“It was such a disaster losing a young lad that a lot of people at the club were familiar with. Barrie and I had the pleasure of coaching Jak and he was a memorable lad.

The crowd takes part in the minute's applause. Picture by Peter Talbot.

The crowd takes part in the minute's applause. Picture by Peter Talbot.

“Every session I had with him, he was at the front of the queue and the life and soul of what was going on.”

Carl scored his second goal in the second half.

He added: “His dad came up to me after the game as happy as he could be, because I think he knew that we worked that bit harder on Saturday in memory of Jak.

“To get the first goal for me meant a lot.

Jak's dad, Tony Fada, embraces South Shields player Barrie Smith after the game. Picture by Peter Talbot.

Jak's dad, Tony Fada, embraces South Shields player Barrie Smith after the game. Picture by Peter Talbot.

“I wore number 10, which was Jak’s favourite number and his age, and when I heard the announcer say the goal had been scored in the 10th minute, it brought a little tear to my eye on the pitch because of how much it meant.”

A minute’s silence in honour of Jak was also held ahead of Scarborough Athletic’s game against Trafford.

Meanwhile, Shields fans joined in a minute’s applause in the 18th minute of their match in memory of Scarborough supporter Curtis Allen, who lost his fight with leukaemia, aged 18.