South Shields FC players lead applause in tribute to schoolboy Jak Fada at special day in his honour
Hundreds of football fans joined the family of schoolboy Jak Fada in a moving tribute to the youngster led by players from his favourite club.
As the rain fell on Mariners Park, players from South Shields Football Club started a round of a applause in memory of the 10-year-old who died last November, of a ruptured heart artery.
They were joined by fans, his family and players from opposing team Matlock FC in a moving testament to the youngster’s love of the game ahead of their 3pm kick-off.
His family also hosted a collection on the gates in aid of a Christmas Toy Appeal launched by his family in his memory for those less fortunate living in the borough nominated by worthy causes.
Jak died on November 6 - a month later his mum Ashley Tomlin died after she too suffered a ruptured heart artery.
His dad Tony Fada said: “I could burst into tears when I think about what they have done for my Jak.
“It’s so overwhelming, as just over a year ago I was stood here with Jak and Ashley, it ended up being his last game - and now both of them are not here.
“What the club has done for us having Jak Fada Day is amazing, they have done so much for us.
“They allowed us to have a collection last year and they have allowed us to do the same this year for our Christmas appeal - we can’t thank them enough.”
Tony added: “The minute’s applause for Jak was something else, it was so emotional to see everyone standing clapping for my boy.”
Jak was a big South Shields supporter and regularly attended games and holiday coaching courses at Mariners Park.
Managing Director of South Shields Football Club, Keith Finnigan, said: “Jak was somebody who meant a lot to everyone at the club and even today, the shock of hearing about his death at such a young age still stays with us. So to have a gesture like this at the club he loved was the least we could do to celebrate his life.
“Despite the weather we have had a great turn out which is great for his family.”
Monies collected will be used to buy toys and to purchase food to enable families who would otherwise go without on Christmas day a festive dinner to enjoy.