Football supporters will today say farewell to one of their own as South Shields FC honour the late Jak Fada.
Jak, 10, tragically died on November 6 after suffering a ruptured heart artery.
It will be a very poignant occasion, but we want to use it as an opportunity to celebrate Jak’s lifeKeith Tomlin
The Westoe Crown Primary School pupil was a huge fan of the Mariners, and was a season ticket holder.
Shields today play their first home game since Jak’s death as they take on Droylsden at Mariners Park.
Before the match, a minute’s applause will be held in tribute to Jak, and a further round of applause is expected to take place in the 10th minute.
Family members have been invited to the game after being given VIP tickets by the club, and emotions are sure to be running high.
Jak’s grandad, Keith Tomlin, said: “It will be a very poignant occasion, but we want to use it as an opportunity to celebrate Jak’s life.
“It is such a difficult time for all of the family, and it will be a tough day, but every time I think of Jak I still smile.
“I’d like to go on record thanking South Shields FC, because they have been absolutely amazing through all of this. I can’t thank them enough.
“They didn’t have to do anything, but they have stepped right up to the plate.”
Also at today’s game will be Jak’s parents, Ashley Tomlin and Tony Fada.
Ashley described Mariners Park as “where Jak’s heart was”, and his funeral service and wake were held at the ground on Wednesday.
The club has paid further tribute to Jak by dedicating the front cover of today’s match programme to the youngster, with the message ‘in loving memory of Jak Fada’.
Meanwhile, one of Jak’s best friends, Theo Whickham, will lead the South Shields team out as mascot.
The game kicks off at 3pm.
Meanwhile, Scarborough Athletic fans have also organised a 10th minute applause for Jak in their game against Trafford today.