THE heartbroken dad of tragic nine-year-old Jordan Banks, who was killed by lightning, has revealed his son's organs have been donated to help save three children.
Matt Banks paid an emotional tribute to his son after he died while playing football in Blackpool on Tuesday night.
Jordan was rushed to hospital following the horrific incident, but died shortly afterwards.
Fellow youth teams paid their respects to the football-loving schoolboy, as his family paid emotional tributes to him.
A Facebook message posted on behalf of Mr Banks said: "Jordan was and is the most amazing little person.
"He had the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone, and when parents say they have the best kid ever, he GENERALLY was the best ever and if I ever could of asked for a perfect child that was my Jordan.
'CHERISH EVERY MOMENT'
"I couldn’t of been prouder of him always putting other people himself, such a selfless little person.
"Even now his kindness has meant that 3 other children may be able to live as he always told us he wanted to be able to help other people if he could so was a donor and has donated which we know will be what he wanted."
In the heartrending Facebook post, the grief-stricken father said "words can't explain how heartbroken I am.. not only have I lost my little boy I have lost my little best mate."
He added: "So what I ask of anyone with children – cherish every moment.
"Even moments that seem to insignificant right now.. picking them up from school, putting them to bed at night, making them a drink have tea time together as you never know when moments like that will be taken away from you.
"It only feels like yesterday I was making Jordan a brew, putting him to bed, getting kisses, squeezing him and playing with him.
"Don’t take any time for granted as you may end up wishing you had more like me!
"So please, please if you are busy and they might want to play a game or watch something with you just find time because it’s priceless."
In a statement released on Wednesday, Jordan's devastated family paid tribute to their "brightest star" with "golden curls".
Even now his kindness has meant that 3 other children may be able to live as he always told us he wanted to be able to help other people if he could so was a donor and has donated which we know will be what he wanted
"His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything. Wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving.
"Our love is endless. Goodnight beautiful boy. We thank you all for your kind words and support but as a family ask that you respect our wishes and privacy.”
Jordan's devastated stepdad Daniel Begg shared an emotional picture to Instagram showing him holding hands with the nine-year-old.
It was captioned: "Hand in hand….always" alongside three heart emojis.
Mr Begg was just feet away sitting in a car when the child was struck by the bolt of lightning, his friend said.
Campbell, whose son was friends with Jordan, said: “Jordan was having a one-to-one coaching session.
“His step-dad was in the car at the time. It is awful.
“He was having a coaching session at the time to help improve his game.
“I feel so sorry for his family and what they are going through.”
Mr Campbell's son CJ, 9, paid tribute to his pal by leaving a football and flowers. He was travelling home from the Lake District when he heard.
He said: “I am very sad about what happened.
TRIBUTES TO TRAGIC SCHOOLBOY
“Jordan was my best friend and I’m going to miss him. I’ve known him since reception class.
“We played football against each other.
“He was very funny and caring and had raised money for charity. He was in my class at school.”
Jordan was much-loved in his community and even left chocolate treats on police cars in January to thank them for their work during the pandemic.
Tributes flooded in from Jordan's football team, the Clifton Rangers Junior FC.
A club statement said: "Jordan was a Shining Light and an inspiration to everyone that he met. A strong, determined and courageous young man, who will be missed by everyone.
"The world has truly lost an extraordinary young man, who had done so much good in his community.
"We cannot begin to imagine the grief of the family. Our thoughts, prayers, love and hugs go out to them all and to his teammates, friends and coaches who are devastated by the loss."
The club said they will be working with the Football Association to "support the family and anyone else touched by this tragedy".
Jordan was a keen footballer and was praised earlier this year by Liverpool star James Milner for his "incredible" charity work.
The youngster raised £2,500 by running 30 miles for a local mental health charity in honour of his Uncle Reece, who took his own life in 2018.
Flowers have been left at the scene for the "little superstar" with a local church to hold services later.
Spirit of Youth Junior FC, who use the playing field, paid tribute to Jordan.
They said: “It is with deepest regret that we have to report the news that the young boy who was struck by lightning earlier this evening has sadly passed away.
“The tragic incident happened on our home ground at Common Edge playing fields but it was not during a club training session.
“As a club, we are heartbroken and we offer our deepest condolences to the boy’s family.
“Spirit of Youth is a family and we are entrenched in the local community, and we will give whatever support is required to both the family and to those that were with him at the time.
“We would ask that people respect the privacy of the family at this most tragic of times. Rest In Peace young man."
Blackpool South's MP Scott Benton said he was "incredibly sorry to hear this tragic and heartbreaking news".
"I'm sure I speak for the whole community when I say that everybody in Blackpool will be thinking of the boy's family and friends at this sad time," he said.
Witnesses have now told how the boy was struck as he trained in the storm.
One said: "It was a one-on-one football session. My sister saw him at school playing with his friends he was friends with my little nephew next minute we find out this so so sad.
"It's definitely hit hard as we knew his family personally you just wouldn't ever think something like that would happen it's so heartbreaking I mean what are the chances."
Officers were called to the sports field on School Road, Blackpool, shortly after 5pm on Tuesday to reports that a child had been injured.
Police say that although enquiries are still ongoing, at this time they "believe the boy had been struck by lightning."
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