Mariners in mourning for young fan

South Shields are mourning the untimely and tragic passing of one of the EVO-STIK League club's youngest and most devoted fans.

The Mariners sent their condolences to the family and friends of 10-year-old season ticket holder Jak Fada on Wednesday after learning of his death in hospital on Monday only a few hours after complaining of chest pains at school.

A goalkeeper for his school team at Westoe Crown Primary School, Jak had a heart condition when he was younger but was given the all-clear at the age of five.

Tragically for his family and mum Ashley Tomlin and dad Tony Fada, the football-mad youngster - pictured with the FA Vase after seeing his heroes lift the trophy at Wembley last season - passed away a day after his great-grandfather James Tomlin.

The EVO-STIK League North club's saddened officials confirmed they will hold a minute's applause for the youngster before kicking off against Droyslden in their next home game on Saturday week in a statement on their website and Twitter account @SouthShieldsFC.

The Mariners said: "The club is deeply saddened to have learnt of the untimely and tragic passing of Jak Fada, at the age of just 10. Jak was a keen fan of the Mariners, and followed us both at home and away. He also participated in the weekly development centre at Mariners Park, and was a regular at community events hosted by the club.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club are with Jak’s family and friends at this unimaginably difficult time, and we wish to send our sincere condolences to them. As a mark of respect, a minute’s applause will be held in memory of Jak prior to the first-team’s home game against Droylsden on Saturday, November 18."

South Shields player Barrie Smith, who led a number of coaching courses attended by Jak, added on Twitter: “This is absolutely heartbreaking news. All of my thoughts are with Jak’s family and friends at this time. He took part in all of my football courses and was a lovely lad. RIP.”

After their double tragedy, Jak's devastated family paid tribute in the media to South Shields for offering to host the funeral service and wake at their Mariners Park home on Wednesday and insisting on making no charge.

Grandfather Keith Tomlin told shieldsgazette.com: “We can’t thank South Shields Football Club enough for what they have done. The service and wake will be held at the ground, and they’ve given us use of the marquee, and facilities, free of charge. They wouldn’t take a penny from us. It’s an amazing gesture from them and the whole family hugely appreciates it.”

Image courtesy of @SouthShieldsFC/Twitter

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