Dugouts Unveiled in Memory of Former Student Jack Dowding

1st May 2018

We held a memorial event on 25 April to celebrate the life of Jack Dowding, a former student at Richard Taunton, who sadly passed away last year due to complications linked to childhood diabetes. Jack’s parents and grandparents officially opened our two new sports dugouts, commissioned in his memory, which was followed by a charity football match.

The funding for these dugouts was raised entirely through donations and they will stand as a prominent feature in our college football field; a place where Jack, who was a big fan of football, spent a lot of time as a student.

Jack’s parents, Laurence and Maz Dowding, were touched by the number of people who came to honour Jack, which included many of his classmates, friends and family, as well as pupils from his old school (St. Mary’s Independent School). Laurence Dowding, said, “I’m so pleased with the turnout for Jack, it does go to show how many lives he affected.“

The event began with very emotional speeches from our principal, Alice Wrighton, and Laurence Dowding.

Alice, said “Jack was hugely popular and of course quite sporty. He worked very hard for his qualifications and because of that, many teachers became heavily invested, and Jack’s passing hit us all very hard.”

Laurence said, “Jack was a huge Saints fan, but also a fan of darts, and that was a sport we could play together! As a parent you always think your child is special but today shows that I wasn’t wrong in thinking that. Jack would always offer his own time before thinking of himself, he would always try to help wherever he could”.

The dugout opening was followed by a charity football match. Players included Jack’s friends, staff and students. There was also a barbeque and raffle, which featured a football signed by the players of the Saints football team. The event raised £250, which is all going to the Jack foundation – a charity set up in Jack’s name to raise funds for research into juvenile diabetes.

These dugouts, branded with the Jack Foundation logo, will help raise awareness of juvenile diabetes and stand as a lasting tribute to a student who is greatly missed!