Driffield News

Tributes paid to Driffield teenager Jack – ‘friendly, loving, kind, happy and great fun’

Family, sports clubs and school staff have paid touching tributes to hugely popular and much-loved Driffield teenager Jack Stabler, 17, who died in a road traffic incident on June 11.

Jack, a passenger, was travelling back to Driffield from Scarborough when the incident happened on the B1249 near Driffield.

Jack, son of Rich Stabler and Sue Taylor, was an excellent all-round sportsman, had an extensive group of friends and was hugely popular at Driffield School & Sixth Form, both among students and teaching staff, where he was excelling while studying his A-levels in Year 12 and last year passed all his GCSEs.

Jack played his first season of men’s football for Driffield EI, making his debut in the first team while still 16, and just last month lifted the East Riding Under 18 Cup with his Hessle Sporting Lions Under 17 team.

The always-smiling teen was a lifeguard at Driffield Leisure Centre, a member of Driffield Health Hub and had previously played for Driffield Town Cricket Club, both as a junior and in the men’s teams. 

He also represented East Yorkshire at cricket in his early teens.

Jack, who turned 17 in February, recently passed his driving test, and had since spent many hours enjoying driving his car.

In a statement, Jack’s family said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened.

“Jack was the most wonderful son, grandson, cousin and nephew. He was so close to all his family, especially his cousins and thoroughly enjoyed family holidays.

“He was friendly, loving, kind, happy and great fun and loved being with his friends and family.

“We would like to thank the hundreds of people who have sent messages of support, and we are very grateful to everyone who has been in touch.

“We knew Jack had a great network of friends who he enjoyed sporting activities and spending time with. 

“This was summed up by the many bouquets of flowers, photos, messages and several signed sporting shirts which were left at Scarborough Road, as well as the photo memory box. It shows just how many people’s lives he touched.”

A statement from Driffield EI said: “Local football has sadly lost a young player who had shown tremendous potential and was a credit to himself and his family, both on and off the field.

“Jack made his debut in senior football for Driffield EI 1sts at the tender age of 16 and has been part of the first team squad on a number of occasions during the 2021/22 season.

“No doubt Jack would have been part of the newly-formed club, Great Driffield AFC. RIP Jack: The EI Family”

Jack’s Sunday League club, Hessle Sporting Lions U17, with which Jack helped lift the cup last month, said: “Jack was part of the Lions team for the last six seasons.

“He was a quiet unassuming character who just got on with doing what he loved, playing football, no drama, no fuss and always with a smile on his face.

“It didn’t matter what position he was playing in he always gave 100 per cent.

“He wasn’t all serious and was often part of the jovial side of things when the lads like to poke fun at each other, including the coach.

“He was a well-balanced character, solid, dependable, thoughtful, confident and more importantly, a sensible young man who was very popular amongst the team.

“He was a pleasure to coach and will be sadly missed by everyone involved in the team, past and present. And he will be lovingly remembered as the lovely person he was.”

Jack also touched the lives of many students and staff during his time at Driffield School & Sixth Form.

The school released the following statement: “There are no words that can even come close to describing the impact of such a tragic loss on Jack’s family and friends, as well as our wider school community.

“Jack was a wonderful young man who was always full of enthusiasm. He was valued so highly by his peers, who benefited regularly from his ever-ready smile.

“The fact that Jack was so popular among both Year 12 and Year 13 students bears testimony to the vibrant sense of fun that he brought to any group he was part of.

“Jack was a superb all round sportsman, playing a range of sports and participating in the school ski trip.

“However, it was always on the football field that he excelled and he would often step from the ordinary and comfortable in order to improve as a player. This, alongside his talent and work ethic, led to him representing the East Riding at football.

“Jack always proved to be a well-respected and loved young man who had a mature head on his shoulders. He was unfailingly honest and he will be remembered so fondly, by both his peers and our staff.

“All our thoughts and prayers will be with Jack’s family and friends as they try to make sense of such devastating news.

“Over the coming weeks, we will be led by family and friends to ensure that we celebrate Jack’s life in the most fitting way.”

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