Emotional tributes paid to Jak Fada at Droylsden game

Emotional tributes paid to Jak Fada at Droylsden game

Emotional tributes were paid to youngster Jak Fada before, during and after Saturday’s game between South Shields and Droylsden at Mariners Park.

The 10-year-old tragically died on November 6.

Jak was a huge supporter of the Mariners, and also a very keen footballer who regularly attended the club’s holiday coaching camps, as well as the weekly development centre at Mariners Park.

Ahead of Saturday’s game, a minute’s applause was held in memory of the Westoe Crown Primary School pupil, while there was a further tribute in the 10th minute of the match.

Carl Finnigan opened the scoring in that minute to set the Mariners on the road to a 6-1 win.

Afterwards, he paid tribute to a youngster he had coached on several occasions.

He 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 Smith and I had the pleasure of coaching Jak and he was a memorable lad.

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

“It was great to see his family at the game. We saw them before the game and at half-time.

“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.”

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

“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.”

IMAGE: Kev Wilson.