Tributes have been paid to a popular teenager who died following a one-vehicle crash on the Newbiggin road at Blencow in the North Lakes in the early hours of Monday.
A statement from his family said: “He just loved everyone to have fun and be happy – he didn’t have a bad bone in his entire body.”
And those words have been echoed by hundreds of other people in tributes to the popular teenager.
Jack was the son of Alan and Joanne Taylor, of Stainton. Alan is a police officer who has served in Keswick and played football for Keswick reserves.
Jack was also brother of 16-year-old Josh and was a former pupil of Stainton School and Ullswater Community College. He was studying professional policing at Cumbria University.
His nana and grandad, Tom and Malvina Harrison, who lived in Keswick for many years, live next door to the family at Stainton. Jack’s mum, Joanne – a teacher at Penrith’s Brunswick Road School – is originally from Keswick.
A talented footballer, Jack – or JT as he was known by friends – played centre-back for Penrith reserves and academy after being with Castletown Junior Football Club and attending Danny Grainger’s Cumbria Football Academy.
His mum said: “Jack loved his hair, clothes and trainers, but above all else he loved his family, especially his younger brother Josh.
“No two brothers could have had a stronger bond or been more supportive of one another than our boys. They were complete opposites in many ways but the great love they shared for one another and respect they had for each other was incredible.
“He loved any family event or parties and being with his friends.
“He had a tight-knit group of friends at school and a much wider group of all ages. He just loved for everyone to have fun and be happy.
“He didn’t have a bad bone in his entire body. He had the most amazing sense of humour, adventure, was so full of fun and would help anybody at all.
“If he saw a problem, he would quietly try to help fix it without wanting a fuss. His smile was infectious and endeared him to all.”
He was also an ardent Liverpool supporter and was due to go to Anfield with his dad, uncle and cousin later this month. He also represented the county at football and, at the age of 14, qualified as a referee at the same time as his dad.
His family used to watch every weekend until he left Castletown, where, over the years, he was named most improved player, player’s player, player of the year and manager’s player of the year.
Tributes to Jack have poured in from the football community in Cumbria. Penrith AFC has asked the “football family” to come together to pay tribute and remember Jack during a period of applause at games taking place this week and next.
This request was sent out by the Cumberland FA, who also said: “Whilst we appreciate the tragedy puts the game into perspective, it is hoped that the knowledge that the grassroots game in Cumbria has come together to offer their collective sympathy offers some comfort to all those who knew Jack at this difficult time.”
Penrith AFC Reserves manager Mark Bell said: “JT — as he was known at the club —joined Penrith AFC at the start of the 2018-19 season as a 16-year-old and soon established himself as a valuable member of the Penrith Academy side which won the league and cup double that year.
“Over the years he has not only grown into a very good player but, more importantly, an incredible young man. Every time you saw JT, either at training or on a match day, he always had a smile on his face, which showed the love he had for the game.
“He will be a huge loss to the players, management and everyone at Penrith AFC.”
One of the many clubs posting condolences on social media was Keswick FC.
Jack loved Ullswater Community College, where he received support from all the staff who worked with him, particularly former headteacher Nick Ellery; head of year from Year 7 through to Year 11, Simon Cooper; and English teacher Jim Nulty. He received an award in Year 10 for his service and attitude to school — it was presented by prize-giving guest, reality TV star Joey Essex.
Mr Ellery said: “Jack was an easy going, incredibly warm and highly respected young man who reflected a supportive, loving and very proud family. He had a great sense of humour, which would often be no more than a facial expression, and a real loyalty and affection to and from a strong group of friends.
“With many of his closest friends, Jack matured from the young Year 7 student finding his way around school, discovering new friends and passions, to a fine young man as he completed his GCSE years. After a period of great consideration, he chose to return to UCC for his sixth form studies (a decision that went down well with his friends who hold him in such high esteem). His presence around the sixth form just made the school a nicer place to be.
“Among his passions, Jack was an excellent sportsman, particularly footballer, and played for school and club. He will be remembered with great affection by all who were fortunate enough to spend time with him and get to know him.
“I know that his parents, Alan and Joanne, along with his younger brother, Josh, are so proud of Jack and on meeting them you would immediately recognise so many of Jack’s many outstanding traits, his character and personality.”
Kendal club Burneside said: “Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of Jack. We had a great battle in that 2018/2019Division 3 season with his Penrith Academy side. We stand side by side altogether in moments like this.”
Jack spent a short spell at Carlisle United, and the club posted: “Jack was a fantastic young man who will be missed by all. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very sad time.”
Kirkoswald FC manager Macauley Musgrave, who was a team-mate of Jack at Penrith Academy, said: “He was a cracking lad. he brought great morale to the group. It’s a massive shame and a massive loss.”
Jack had a wide circle of friends from school, football, the police cadets, university, and his work at Rheged. He had also worked at Stainton farm shop and Park Foot caravan and camping site, at Pooley Bridge.
He was a police cadet until the age of 18, and, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, he volunteered to support the front line, collecting and delivering PPE from Manchester, Cheshire and Oxford for Cumbria police.
Jack loved holidays and time spent with his family. He visited Europe, America and Dubai as well as enjoying two cruises with his wider family.
His last family holiday was in January, 2021 — a surprise trip to New York for his mum’s 50th birthday, which he said had been the best holiday they had been on.
Alan said: “Jack and Josh are our world and Jack knew exactly what to say to his mum better than anybody and how to wrap her round his little finger. He idolised her and she adored him — we all did. Life just won’t be the same”.
Jack was incredibly close to his family, especially brother Josh, a student at Penrith Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. From a young age, Jack would climb over the fence to go and see his nana and grandad to have a chat — he adored them.
Also in the village are his aunt and uncle, Mandy and Frank Boyle, and cousins Luke and Chloe with whom he grew up and thought the world off. He would run up the road to see them regularly at his second home. He also leaves uncle and aunt Stephen and Tracey Harrison, of Cockermouth, and cousins Emma and Ben with who he loved to spend time, as well as much loved grandma Joyce Taylor and aunt Linda Taylor, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Mum Joanne said: “Jack loved his hair, clothes and trainers, but above all else he loved his family, especially his younger brother Josh. No two brothers could have had a stronger bond or been more supportive of one another than our boys.
“They were complete opposites in many ways, but the great love they shared for one another and respect they had for each other was incredible.
“He loved any family event or parties and being with his friends. He had a tight-knit group of friends at school and a much wider group of all ages.
“He just loved for everyone to have fun and be happy — he didn’t have a bad bone in his entire body. He had the most amazing sense of humour, adventure, was so full of fun and would help anybody at all.
“If he saw a problem he would quietly try to help fix it without wanting a fuss. His smile was infectious and endeared him to all.”
In addition to football, Jack loved cycling and spent a lot of time on his bike throughout lockdown. He and dad cycled for miles together.
He was also a strong swimmer and over the years he enjoyed taekwondo, cricket, rugby and skiing — he would have a go at anything he packed as much as he could into each day.
Jack liked to relax on his PlayStation with his friends Nathan Kerr and Matti Egglestone, with whom he spent many a happy hour walking during lockdown as well as walking his dog, Buddy, brother Josh or girlfriend Maisy.
Lockdown meant Jack’s first holiday with friends last year was postponed, and he celebrated his 18th birthday at home with his family.
Just a couple of weeks ago he went to Leeds with his friend, Joe Robinson, to visit Cammy Edgar, James Salt and Hugh Burne and had a wonderful time.
“He just loved people to be happy and have fun; he seized every day and packed so very much into it,” said Joanne.
Jack’s funeral will be held at St. Andrew’s Church, Penrith, on Friday 11th June, at 1pm followed by burial at the town’s cemetery.
Everybody is welcome to attend — there will be speakers outside church.
- Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident. Anyone with information can report online at www.cumbria.police.uk/reportit, quoting incident number 29 of 31st May, or call 101 and ask for PC 2743 Bruce or PC 1947 Ross.