An annual tribute night in memory of a popular Preston man who died while teaching in Thailand is being set up.Advertisement
Friends of Jason Edmondson, who was well known for working in Preston’s nightlife industry, are organising a charity football tournament and club night in his honour.
Jason, who was 25, died after the moped he was riding came off the road in Krabi during the early hours of a Saturday morning in July last year.
He had been out there in the summer of 2015 to teach English as a foreign language, and now his friends and family want to raise £15,000 to help a charity who provide education in refugee camps the world over.
Owen Yates, who DJs regularly at the Baluga bar, said Jason loved his football and organising a tournament seemed a great way to pay tribute.
He said: “I remember first meeting Jay when he was 19 and coming in fresh-faced to work as a barman after he had finished at Runshaw College.
“He was a popular lad. He was always smiling. Loads of people knew him and he was always working hard.
“He loved his football too. He’ll be looking down on us playing and be gutted he can’t be there to take part in a tournament in his name.”
His mother, Jill Edmondson, said coming to terms with her son’s death had been very difficult.
The former nurse said: “He was just a lovely lad. So generous and just so laid back. We never fell out.
“It still feels like yesterday when the police came round and they told us. It’s still quite raw.
“He was so happy out there. He’d gone out in the April and had been there for three months when it happened.
“We spoke probably twice a week and I just knew he was relaxed and enjoying himself.
“His funeral just brought home to me what a popular young man he was. All his teachers from school came, his police colleagues from Scotland all came down and there were just so many people there. It was just a lovely tribute.”
Owen, 27, who lives in Hesketh Bank, said they wanted to raise money for a smaller charity who many may not have heard of.
He said: “I spoke to Jay’s mum, Jill, and she was fine with us wanting to do something. We looked around for a charity to raise the money for and Children On The Edge just chimed with everything Jay was about.”
Jason had been working in Scotland for the police before he decided to take a break and travel. He worked for the firearms division in Scotland for around two and a half years after studying at the University of Central Lancashire’s Burnley campus.
Jill said: “He decided to go and travel after what happened with his father. His Dad, John, passed away, and I think this made him realise what’s important in life.
“Jay moved back nearer home, the police let him transfer. But he still wasn’t happy.
“So I had been speaking to a friend at work and their son was going out to Thailand to teach English. He had done this online course and this was what you needed qualification wise to go.
“I told Jay and he just got on with it. Got his advanced Tefl course and booked himself to go out there.”
Growing up in Leyland there was always a place for football in Jason’s life.
Jill said: “He was always off to play for some team or the other.
“After his death then Euxton Villa who he played for let us put a memorial bench by the side of the pitch.
“I was forever finding those little black balls from the five-a-side pitches around the house.
“He’ll certainly be pleased there is a football event in his memory, although very relieved that I’m not playing. Some of his friends said I should be the referee but I don’t think that’d be a good idea.”
A number of local bars and businesses are putting in teams for the 5-a-side tournament which takes place in Tulketh on Saturday 2 April.
After the tournament a fundraising night takes place at Baluga bar, where Jay worked while studying when it was Manyanas, in Preston city centre.
Donations have begun flooding in for prizes for a Silent Auction which takes place from 8.30pm to 10.30pm, with a signed Preston North End, Manchester United and Everton shirt already on the list.
Owen said: “We’re going for a 1920s prohibition theme for the night.
“There will be the Silent Auction first and we’re hoping to get lots of great prizes which will raise some serious cash for the charity.
“We’re still confirming all the details of the night itself but we hope it’ll be a great tribute to Jay.”
Anyone able to donate a prize for the Silent Auction or interested in attending the charity night is asked to follow the Facebook page for the event.
A Crowdfunding page has been set up to raise money in Jason’s memory via the Justgiving site.
Did you know Jason? Did you work with him? You can leave your tributes or memories in the comments below