Players' award to be named in memory of founder and president of Burnley's only American football club

An award, given to players who always give their all to the sport, is to be re-named in honour of one of the founders of Burnley's only American football club.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Mr Ivan Jackson, who died at the age of 75 last month, leaves behind a great sportig legacy in the form of the Burnley Tornados American football team

Ivan Jackson, who died in March, founded the Burnley Tornados in 2008 and held the position of chairman until 2017 when he handed over the reins to his successor and grandson, Cameron Stewart.

Although it marked the end of an era, Ivan became the first honorary president of the club and, as a surprise for his grandfather, Cameron presented him with the first Tornados lapel badge the club had specially made to raise funds.

Plans are being made to re-name the chairman's award in memory of Ivan as it is awarded to someone who always goes the extra mile and gives 100 per cent.

Ivan with his daughter and grandson, Tracey Stewart, who is general manager of the Tornados, and Cameron Stewart, who took over the reins as chairman when Ivan stepped down in 2017.

Ivan helped to start the club in 2008 when he went along to training sessions in Worsthorne with Cameron when he was a boy. He had developed a passion for the sport when it was televised during the 1980s and he took the opportunity to get involved at a local level.

Ivan helped the Tornados to get off the ground with a cash injection which enabled members to buy their first set of jerseys and from there the club went from strength to strength, with training sessions moving from Burnley to Colne's Holt House a number of years ago.

The club was a member of the Pennine Academy of American Football and catered for teams from the ages of 10 upwards in a variety of disciplines, from action packed flag football to technical kitted games.

Burnley born Ivan lived in the town all his life, apart from a couple of years spent in Cornwall as a small boy.

He attended the former Towneley High School and started work as a draughtsman at Lucas Engineering. But Ivan soon realised that technology was the way forward so he went to night school to learn how to work as a computer operator.

He went on to work in various IT roles throughout the North West and rounded off his career working as an IT consultant for the NHS.

Married to his wife Joan for 60 years, the couple had been teenage sweethearts. A doting dad to his two daughters, Tracey and Vicki, Tracey helps to run the Tornados as general manager. Both Ivan's grandchildren, Cameron and Lauren, both played for the Tornados.

Ivan, who was 75, died surrounded by his family after a short battle against cancer.

Paying tribute to her dad, Tracey said: "My dad has left a legacy in the team and will be forever fondly remembered in the club for his caring way and ensuring the family ethos remained throughout all the teams."