THE family of an engineer who was killed at work will mark his 21st birthday with a memorial football match this weekend.
Jason Burden, 19, died from chest injuries sustained when a piece of metal machinery fell on him as he worked at Wear Dock and Engineering Company in Sunderland.
Today, he would have celebrated his 21st birthday, and on Saturday, family and friends will gather to host a football match and night of music in his memory.
His dad, Trevor, said: “Jason was a popular young lad who loved his football. We just loved him so much and still do.
“It’s been so hard since he died, and this week is just so emotional with it being his 21st birthday.
“We should be planning his party – not a football match in his memory.”
Jason, who lived in Fox Street, South Shields, with sister Rachel, brother Josh and their parents Trevor and Maria, was working for the engineering company based at South Docks in Sunderland when the piece of machinery fell on him in December 2011. He died as he was being flown by air ambulance to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
The memorial event – being held at South Shields Football Club, Filtrona, in Shaftesbury Avenue – will raise funds for the Great North Air Ambulance as a thank-you for their efforts to try and save Jason.
The match will kick off at 4pm, with Jason’s dad and 12-year-old Josh both taking part. Teams involved include Jason’s former Sunday League team, FC Simonside, with junior clubs Boldon Colts and South Tyneside Thunder to also play a match.
Afterwards, a disco will be held, and there will also be raffles and a tombola with a range of prizes up for grabs.
Entry for the event is £2 for adults and £1 for children.