Football tournament set to be held in memory of Jacob Jenkins
A community football tournament in memory of little Jacob Jenkins will be held again this month.
The event was staged for the first time last year and proved to be a knockout success.
Organiser Mick Eglintine said it was so popular they have made it an annual event.
Two-year-old Jacob died in October 2015 after he choked on a grape at Pizza Hut, Hartlepool Marina.
Despite the efforts of first-aiders from both the restaurant and the nearby cinema, Jacob stopped breathing for around 30 minutes.
Paramedics revived him, and he spent five days in an induced coma in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), but sadly died.
His death devastated the community and more than £21,000 was raised to support his heartbroken parents, Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins.
People across Hartlepool and further afield lit candles of hope while Jacob was fighting for his life.
Mick said four teams of over 40s players will battle it out in the hope of lifting the Jacob Jenkins Cup on Saturday, July 15.
The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College football fields in Catcote Road will be used to hold the tournament, which will kick off at 10.30am.
Last year the event raised more than £1,000 and this year Mick plans to use whatever money is raised to buy a gift for Jacob’s parents.
He said: “They are getting married on the same day as the tournament, so it will be like a wedding present.”
Mick said he contacted Jacob’s parents, who earlier this year welcomed a baby girl into their family, to ask permission to hold the tournament.
He said: “They were really pleased that we wanted to do this for Jacob. I was hoping they could come and present the cup, but it turned out they are getting married that day.”
Last year it was a five-a-side competition, but this year the teams will each have 11 players.
Battling it out for the cup will be The Catholic Club, The Stag and Monkey, Hartlepool Vets and Hartlepool Jackson’s Arms.
Mick said: “We will be releasing a few balloons in memory of Jacob before the kick-off and I will be wearing my Team Jacob T-shirt from last year.”
Everyone is welcome to go along on the day, from 10.30am to cheer the players on and afterwards people will be going to the Catholic Club for a few drinks.