Glentoran hero’s heartbreak as son dies of meningitis
The young son of former Glentoran star Chris Walker has died of meningitis.
Tributes have poured in following the death of two-year-old Jaxon yesterday.
Chris Walker became a legend for the club after playing for Glentoran for 13 years as a centre back.
He now manages the club’s under-17 side and is highly regarded in football circles.
Friends and colleagues have expressed shock and disbelief at his tragic loss.
Glentoran first team coach Tim McCann said: “I extend my deepest sympathies to Chris at this devastating time. Anyone connected with Glentoran will be looked after.
“We will bend over backwards to help Chris at this tragic time, but at the minute he needs privacy, he will need time to grieve and the family need space.
“He has the full support of the club.”
Cliftonville manager Eddie Patterson said: “I heard the news at lunchtime and texted Chris straight away.
“He is a tremendous fella.
“I can’t put into words how sorry I am; my condolences and all the players at Cliftonville Football Club’s condolences are with the family at this sad time.”
“I didn't realise the severity of his son’s illness. We donated a top last year to Chris as he was raising funds for NICFC.”
Ex-Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers said: “My thoughts and prayers are with Chris and his family at this sad time, it is a terrible blow, they were all totally dedicated to the child.”
Eddie Harvey, secretary of the Westbourne Glentoran Supporters’ Club, said: “Chris was raising funds last week to be able to send kids to Preston.
“He is a lovely guy, he is always organising things to help others; the loss of his young son is such a tragedy.”
Chris Walker is a hero among Glentoran fans. He has the Glentoran crest tattooed on his thigh.
In September 2010 Chris shaved his head on The Oval pitch in aid of Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. He was appointed manager of the under-17 team in October and is highly regarded in football circles.