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Toma Remembered With Academy Bench

Written by Newcastle Utd

Alan Pardew helped to unveil a bench in honour of former Magpies youngster Jordan Thompson at the Club's Academy on Friday

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was joined by John Carver, Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett to unveil a memorial bench at the Club's Academy, in honour of former Magpies youngster Jordan Thompson.

Jordan - or 'Toma' as he was affectionately known - was a 15-year-old aspiring footballer when he lost his battle with Leukaemia in September 2007.

But his memory will live on at Little Benton through the bench, which has been funded by money raised from soccer schools organised by Jordan's former Academy coach, Gary Ives.

Following his death, Jordan's family set up the Toma Fund to support children, teenagers, young people and their families in the region who have been affected by a diagnosis of childhood cancer.

Taylor - who was a pallbearer at Jordan's funeral - has been a patron from the beginning and Dummett, who played in the same Academy side as Jordan, also became a patron this week.

Jordan's mother, Andrea, said: "It's just an honour. Being at Newcastle United was the best time of Jordan's life, playing at the Academy and doing what he loved, so to have the bench here in Jordan's memory on what would have been his 21st birthday year is a really fitting tribute to him.

"He'd be very proud to be looking down at his bench, knowing that it's here where he loved to be.

"The bench overlooks the Academy pitch so people can sit on the bench and make use of it to watch other youngsters playing where Jordan used to play. It's underneath some trees as well and it's a lovely position where people can either sit and watch their youngsters play football or just have a little bit of time of their own.

"It was fantastic of Alan Pardew and John Carver to come, and Steven is a friend who we have made through tragic circumstances while I've known Paul and his family for a long time, and I know Jordan would be very pleased with how he's doing."