Why are people posting footballs on Facebook? Meaning of 9 football emojis on status updates explained

Social media users may have noticed an increase of posts all featuring nine football emojis

Following the death of a young football fan, social media users and football clubs alike have taken to posting nine football emojis in his honour.

This is everything you need to know.

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Why are people posting football emojis online?

Jordan Banks, 9, passed away after being struck by lightning

People online have started posting nine football emojis on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in tribute to a young football fan that passed away earlier this week after being struck by lightning.

The reason people are posting nine of the emoji specially is to represent the age of Jordan Banks, who died in hospital on Tuesday.

While it's unclear where the tribute originated from, a number of football clubs have posted nine of the football emojis online in honour of Jordan.

Swansea City Football Club posted on Facebook: “We’re posting nine footballs in memory of nine year old Jordan Banks who was tragically killed by a lightning strike during a football training session in Blackpool yesterday.

“Our thoughts are with Jordan’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

Liverpool Football Club Tweeted the emojis, writing: “The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Jordan’s family and friends. Rest in peace, Jordan Banks.”

Cabinteely Football Club Tweeted out the footballs, writing: “In honour of the 9 year old Jordan Banks who was tragically struck by lightning yesterday, while at football training in Blackpool. From all at Cabinteely FC, our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. #RIPJordanBanks.”

Southend United also Tweeted the emojis, writing: “Rest in peace, Jordan Banks. Our thoughts are with Jordan’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.”

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What happened?

Jordan Banks, from Blackpool, passed away on Tuesday (11 May) after he was struck by lightning on a football field near School Road.

The nine year old was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.

In a statement released by Lancashire Police, Jordan’s family said: “Yesterday our worlds stopped. We lost the brightest star, our beautiful boy Jordan.

“His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything.

“Wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving. Our love is endless. Goodnight beautiful boy.

“We thank you all for your kind words and support but as a family ask that you respect our wishes and privacy.”

What tributes have been paid to him?

In honour of Jordan, Blackpool Tower was lit up red as he was a Liverpool football fan.

The Blackpool Tower wrote on Twitter: “Tonight, the Blackpool Tower is lit up in red. Yesterday, our community lost one of it’s brightest lights, so this evening we stand alongside Jordan Banks' family, friends and our community to remember a remarkable young man. #LiverpoolFC.”

Liverpool midfielder James Milner Tweeted: “A special boy taken too soon.”

MPs also paid tribute to Jordan during a House of Commons debate on community football.

Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans said: “Can I on behalf of the Speaker and the British Parliament send our condolences to his family and to all his teammates at the Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club and all his friends.

“The hearts of the British Parliament and our love go to you all.”