Blackpool; Jordan Banks: Stepdad saw boy hit by lightning, inquest hears

A man tried to resuscitate his nine-year-old stepson after seeing him be struck by lightning during a football coaching session, an inquest has heard.

Jordan Banks was hit by lightning while he was playing in Blackpool in May.

Coroner Alan Wilson recorded a narrative verdict, concluding he died of a cardiac arrest due to an “extremely rare” lightning strike after the weather changed “very quickly”.

He said there was “no obvious reason” behind why Jordan was struck.

An inquest at Blackpool Town Hall, which Jordan’s family did not attend, heard the weather had changed in the last 10 minutes of the one-to-one training session.

Blackpool and Fylde coroner Mr Wilson said the weather “had changed very quickly and there appears to be no obvious reason why Jordan was struck by lightning”.

The inquest heard Jordan’s stepfather Daniel Begg had been in his car watching him on the pitch when he was struck shortly before 17:00 BST.

“He reports he saw lightning hit Jordan and he fell to the ground straight away,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Begg then attempted to resuscitate him where he lay, the inquest heard.

Football coach Daniel Stenton, who was taking the session, said in a witness statement they had decided to finish training when thunder started but the lightning strike happened “suddenly”.

Emma Gleeson was waiting to take her son to a training session when she saw a flash of lightning hit Jordan, the inquest heard.

In a statement, Ms Gleeson, who rang 999, said she saw Jordan fall to the floor and Mr Begg run to him.

The inquest also heard a statement from paramedic Sharon Riley-Clarke, who was called to the scene shortly after witnessing a “loud and violent” sudden lightning strike nearby.

She said when she arrived she saw Mr Begg crouched over Jordan in the field shouting: “He’s not breathing.”

“He picked him up in his arms and was running to us,” she said.

Jordan was pronounced dead at Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital nearly an hour later.

Mr Wilson said the lightning strike was “unsurvivable”.

A Met Office statement read at the inquest said possible thunderstorms had been forecast but no severe weather warning was issued as the overall risk fell below the levels required.

Mr Wilson also thanked Jordan’s family for their “dignity and courage” in their decision to donate his organs.

Liverpool, who Jordan supported, were among those who paid tribute to the youngster, with the team wearing shirts with his name on to warm up for a match against Manchester United.