As father fights for life, brave Jack pays footballing tribute to little sister killed in car crash
BRAVE teenager Jack McLoughlin paid a footballing tribute to his little sister on Sunday - days after the car crash which killed her and left their father fighting for life.
Sean McLoughlin, 47, is still in a serious condition in hospital after last Monday’s crash at Friday Bridge, in which his one-year-old daughter Francesca died.
But on Sunday, Jack led his youth football team in a minute’s silence in memory of his sister and to pray for the recovery of his popular father.
The 15-year-old striker went on to be named man of the match in March Rangers Under-16s’ 5-1 victory over Somersham and he received a standing ovation as he walked off the pitch.
Coach Andy Wenn said: “Originally Jack wasn’t going to play but then I think he decided he just wanted a bit of normality.
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“His family all came down to watch and we thought it was right to do a minute’s silence and remember Francesca.
“It was very emotional but it was a nice moment as well to see Jack play. He was outstanding and he battled on.
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“We substituted him with five minutes to go and everybody stood up and applauded as he came off. He was welling up.”
Friends of Mr McLoughlin, who often ran the line for his son’s football matches, described him as “such a nice guy”. Prayers and messages have been posted on his Facebook page urging him to pull through.
Mr Wenn said March Rangers would like to dedicate their weekend victory to the McLoughlin family.
He added: “Jack is just like his dad - a nice guy. All of the rest of the boys love him.”
Mr McLoughlin is a former Royal Engineer with the British Army and has served overseas in Libya. He is also captain of The George pub pool team in March.
He was driving a Peugeot 307 in last Monday’s collision, which happened on the B1101 between March and Wisbech. The driver of a Ford Mondeo, a 49-year-old man from Nordelph, was injured but has now been discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
Paramedics battled to resuscitate Francesca at the roadside but she died at the scene.