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Tuesday, 23 October 2012 (3031852)
Final tribute to stabbed coach
by David Simister

TARLETON residents will pay a final tribute to talented footballer Mike Jones when his funeral is held in the village this Friday (October 26).

A funeral procession will set off from the pavilion of Tarleton Corinthians - one of the clubs Mike played with before his move to the USA to work as a youth soccer coach for the New York Red Bulls - at 11.45am, followed by a funeral service at 12.15pm at the Blackgate Lane chuch.

Mike, who was affectionately known as “Jonesey” by friends on both sides of the Atlantic, died at the age of 25 after he was stabbed on a Manhatten street on October 7. Police are searching for suspect Orlando Orea, 32, in Mexico, where he fled two days after the killing.

The New York Red Bulls have paid a touching tribute to the Tarleton sportsman at their last game against Kansas City, where players wore black armbands and Jones' number six on their shorts, while photos of him were shown on screens in the stadium. Fans were also invited to sign a book of remembrance at the game, which was attended by over 25,000 people.

Armonk United FC, one of the junior clubs Mr Jones coached in the Westchester Youth Soccer League, has also set up a memorial fund, which will help Mike's family to cover the cost of this Friday's funeral, and to help carry on his legacy.

It follows tributes paid by Tarleton Corinthians last week, who released 25 balloons at a game in an act of remembrance, and a service held in New York attended by Red Bulls fans and players.


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