'Extraordinary' Boy, 9, Dies After Being Struck by Lightning While Playing Soccer

A 9-year-old boy died after reportedly being struck by lightning while playing soccer during a thunderstorm in the U.K.

The boy, named as Jordan Banks, was hit around 5 p.m. on Tuesday local on a soccer field in the seaside town of Blackpool in England's northwest.

Several police vehicles and air ambulance attended the scene in order to aid the injured boy, local news outlet Lancs Live reported.

Police said the boy was rushed to hospital with "serious injuries" but died a short time later.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Blackpool Police said: "A nine-year-old boy has sadly died following an incident on a football field shortly after 5.05 p.m. today. Although enquiries are still ongoing, we believe the boy was struck by lightning. Our thoughts are with the boy's family at this sad time."

Since news of the boy's death emerged, tributes to the youngster have poured in, including from the soccer team that he played for—Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club.

"Jordan of our Under 9 Bees, tragically passed away yesterday evening doing what he loved," a spokesperson for the club said in a statement. "Jordan was a shining light and an inspiration to everyone that he met. A strong, determined and courageous young man, who will be missed by everyone."

"The world has truly lost an extraordinary young man, who had done so much good in his community. We cannot begin to imagine the grief of the family. Our thoughts, prayers, love and hugs go out to them all and to his teammates, friends and coaches who are devastated by the loss.

The club said they would be working with the English Football Association, soccer's governing body in the country, to support the family and anyone affected by the tragedy to ensure that they get the help that they need.

The club who owned the field where the incident occurred— Spirit of Youth Junior Football Club—also expressed their condolences.

"The young boy was not a Spirit of Youth player, but Spirit of Youth is a family and we are entrenched in the local community, and we will give whatever support is required to both the family and to those that were with him at the time," a spokesperson said in a Facebook post.

"We would ask that people respect the privacy of the family at this most tragic of times. Rest in peace young man."

The odds of being struck by lightning are extremely low—around one in a million, according to the National Weather Service.

Despite the low risk, lightning is among the leading causes of storm-related deaths in the U.S. Between 2009 and 2018, there were 27 lightning fatalities each year on average.

Forks of lightning
Stock image showing forks of lightning. A 9-year-old boy has died after being struck by lightning in the United Kingdom. iStock