SOLDIER Corporal Jack Stanley, whose battle against severe injuries received on duty in Afghanistan touched so many people in Todmorden, has lost his fight for life.
The former Todmorden High School pupil, who was 26, was caught in the blast from an improvised explosive device while on patrol near Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan on February 3 and after bravely battling his injuries for two months succumbed to his wounds on Sunday, April 8.
This week tributes were paid by his family, colleagues and friends to his qualities as a son, a soldier and a person whose company made him a pleasure to be with.
Corporal Stanley’s mother, Brenda, said: “Jack was a kind, generous lad with a ready smile. His dedication to his regiment was equalled only by his passion for Bolton Wanderers Football Club. He fought so hard to stay with us and the devastation we feel cannot be described.
“The world is duller without him and heaven brighter.”
The news Corporal Stanley, of C (Coriano) Company of the Queen’s Royal Hussars, had died stunned his many friends in Todmorden, who had been organising a number of events to raise funds for him.
Through his friends in Todmorden Corporal Stanley often socialised at the Jack’s House pub in Burnley Road where £2,000 had already been raised for him with some major events planned for late spring and summer.
Jack’s House landlady, Sue Landale, said news of his death had left everyone in shock as there was hope that Corporal Stanley was winning his fight.
“He was so likeable, he was Jack the lad, he couldn’t have been more aptly named. He was so polite and well-mannered. People will miss him tremendously,” she said.
In June the pub’s regular Bank Holiday music festival Jacksfest was going to be renamed Jack’s Fest in his honour to raise funds and the Jack’s House football teams, for whom he had played, had arranged a 20/20 cricket match against a Todmorden CC eleven.
This weekend a minute’s applause will be held before Jack’s House FC’s games in recognition of his service to his country and his valued friendship.
Wristbands had been sold and donations had quickly raised more than £2,000 with discussions with Corporal Stanley’s liaision officer indicating the financial help would be useful in the future.
Sue said he began enjoying to socialise at the pub through his friendship with Todmorden indie punk band the Bambinos, whose singer TJ was a close friend and who had appeared regularly there. He was a member of the Jack’s House promotion winning team last season and when on leave enjoyed spending time in Todmorden.
Sue said she would consult with Jack’s family - mum Brenda, dad Tom, sisters Rachel, Larissa, Joanne and girlfriend Sarah - and close friends before deciding what would happen to the fund, and whether the events would go ahead as planned.
Corporal Stanley’s mother remarked on her son’s love of football and as well as being part of the promotion winning Jack’s House team, and army colleagues said he excelled on the sports field as well as in his duties as a soldier.
Squadron Sgt Major, Warrant Officer Neil Rudd, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to have served with him and I am proud to have had him as a friend. A talented footballer, he helped the Regiment to Army and Cavalry Cup success in recent years. One of life’s true heroes and we shall all certainly miss that cheeky smile. God bless, Stan.”