A NEW football club has been launched for disabled people in memory of a teenager who died from a heart attack.
Nigel Stuart, 45, of Overton Road, Benfleet, has managed Rayleigh-based Hambrow Soccability for four years, but has now launched his own football club for youngsters and adults with special needs.
The club, called Porter’s Soccability, has been named in memory of one of the disabled players, 14-year-old Jordan Porter, who Mr Stuart used to manage.
Jordan, who lived in Grays, died in 2011, after suffering a heart attack. He suffered with a heart condition that went undetected.
Mr Stuart’s wife and treasurer of the FA registered club, Nicola Stuart, said the death of young Jordan inspired her husband to form a new club.
Mrs Stuart, 42, said: “Jordan’s death hit Nigel hard, they were very close. He was only 14 years old, a young lad, so Nigel felt he needed to do something.”
It has taken the couple and their best friend, Maxine Nutkins, 37, of Southend, two years to build the club, which opened its doors last week.
The club has already attracted 32 adult members, aged 16 and over, and eight youth players.
They will take part in Soccability tournaments with other teams in Essex when the new season starts, in September, and theywill train at Cedar Hall School, in Hart Road, Thundersley.
Mrs Stuart added: “Nigel is completely over the moon and we’re all so proud. It isn’t just about the football, but also about having fun.
“We have a few dads on board who help train and our football coach LukeHammond also has special needs.
“The families do get involved and we’re also hoping to host a picnic for everyone in the summer.”
On Friday, the team unveiled their new strip, in claret and blue colours – which were Jordan’s favourites, during a presentation evening at Hullbridge Sports and Social Club, in Lower Road.
Jordan’s grandparents, Pat and PamCook, were also present at the evening.
For more information on the club, contact Nicola Stuart on 07936 043721.