Jacob Jenkins tribute: Football competition to become annual event

MEMORIAL CUP: Fundraisers take part in the Jacob Jenkins Six-a-side Memorial Cup at Dyke House in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD

MEMORIAL CUP: Fundraisers take part in the Jacob Jenkins Six-a-side Memorial Cup at Dyke House in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD

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A community football tournament in memory of little Jacob Jenkins was a knockout success and is set to become an annual event.

Several over-40s football teams from the area came together in a fun six-a-side competition which raised more than £1,000 for the Jacob fund.

Two-year-old Jacob, who died after choking on a grape at Pizza Hut, loved a kickabout and was part of Tiger Tots.

When Tiger Tots leader Sam Vickers wanted to do something to honour Jacob and raise money, friend Mick Eglintine suggested the tournament.

He said: “Sam asked what we could do, so I said I would ask all of my mates in the over-40s teams and we played for the Jacob Jenkins Memorial Cup.”

Over-40s teams from Wingate, Hartlepool Catholic Club, the Greenside pub, Hartlepool Vets, The Tech and Seaton Coaches all came forward.

Mick said: “It was a good advertisement for the over- 40s sides getting together for a good cause.

“It was a great night and everyone enjoyed it. We are hoping to do it on an annual basis to keep Jacob’s memory going.”

The final was contested between the Catholic Club and Seaton Dads, which was formed specially for the occasion.

The Dads team wore T-shirts with Team Jacob written on and fittingly won the final 3-0.

It was held at the Avondale Centre, at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, which gave Mick free use of the pitches.

The Jacob Memorial Trophy was provided by Ray MacDonald of the Tech team.

Mick added: “It was a nice touch that the side that won was the one with the Team Jacob shirts on.

“When all the sponsorship money comes in we expect to have raised in excess of £1,000.”

An online fundraising page launched to support Jacob’s family stands at £19,875.

Donate at www.gofundme.com/pray4jacob