Sponsored stadium run in teen's memory raises over £1,200 to kit out teams

Five junior football teams will be starting next season with brand new kits featuring a special logo designed to keep alive the memory of a teenager who died.

Lee Jackson arriving at Farley's World
Lee Jackson arriving at Farley's World

Talented footballer Farley Kidner died in his sleep, aged 17, in April last year from sudden adult death syndrome. Now several children's teams have been awarded shirts carrying the Farley’s World badge after his former junior coach Lee Jackson completed a 25-five mile sponsored run towards covering the cost of the new kits and funding other sports projects.

The popular Walsall Academy sixth former had previously attended Coppice Performing Arts School, in Wednesfield, and spent many hours at Coppice Farm Park and Field where the memorial site Farley's World has since been set up. He also played for numerous community teams.

Farley Kidner often played at the fields

Mr Jackson, 46, who works at sports talent enterprise Wyrley Development, said: "We've raised just over £1,200 which will go towards kitting out a couple of teams with the Farley's World logo. It's all about keeping Farley's memory alive.

"It's tragic what's happened and we thought this would be a way of keeping Farley's legacy going. People will look at the badge and ask who he was.

"My youngster, Tommy, went to school with Farley and I was the team manager for Lane Head Spartans when he play there. Among our memories of Farley is going to Minehead for a big tournament which we won. On the back of that we got to play at St George's Park which was a really good."

He added: "Late last year I started to think about what I could do to support the Farley's World project and came up with a sponsored run.

"I started at Birmingham City to Aston Villa, then to West Bromwich Albion, Walsall Football Club then to Molineux followed by Farley's World which was about 24.5 miles. I did it in just under five hours which I thought was pretty good.

"It took a lot out of me, even though, but I expected it to be tough. I recovered fully after a few days' rest.

Farley's stepfather, Andy Paddock, praised Mr Jackson's effort.

"We are just so grateful to him as we can get some more kids' teams kitted out with the Farley's World logo and help them at the same time. We can honestly say we are so proud of what he has done with little time to train before he did the run."

Farley's World features a revamped sports pitch funded with the help of the residents and businesses to improve the community park, which is owned by Walsall Council.

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