Teenage footballer from Hemel Hempstead dies in holiday car crash

A popular young footballer has died whilst on a hiking holiday with his girlfirend.

Wednesday, 2nd August 2017, 1:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:09 am
Jack Keene with mum Patricia
Jack Keene with mum Patricia

Jack Keene, 17, and his girlfriend Elysia Coultate, were in Snowdonia for his first holiday away without family.

But they were involved in a car accident on Thursday, July 27 when Jack’s Renault Clio collided with a minibus. Ms Coultate is currently being treated in hospital.

Jack, who lived in Hemel Hempstead town centre, was a son, brother, uncle, football player and coach. He trained with Bovingdon FC at U16 level then joined Borehamwood Football Academy after completing his GCSEs.

Jack Keene, 17, young footballer who died on holiday in Snowdonia

He was a former student at Hemel Hempstead school where he held sporting records for athletics and basketball.

As the youngest of six siblings, Jack’s sister Holly described him as “loved and adored by everyone”.

She said: “We always said there is something very special about him and everyone who met him just loved him.

“He was always there for his friends and got along so well with his nieces and nephews. Jack was just brilliant.

“He lived life to the fullest. Me and Jack had a very special relationship and he would call me his half-mother half-sister.

“One of my proudest moments was when he got to train at Brentford FC. I went with him to their open trials.

“We are a football mad family and he was a Brentford season ticket holder, we would all go to games as a family.”

Jack had a close relationship with Holly, who he walked down the aisle at her wedding when he was 11. He also started coaching her football team, Muswell Hill Ladies.

Jack Keene, 17, young footballer who died on holiday in Snowdonia

Tommy Walter, one of Jack’s closest friends, organised a balloon release on Saturday evening with a few other friends. He has also set up a crowdfunding page to help out Jack’s family with the funeral costs.

He wrote: “Jack was one of the most genuine, nice, understanding friends anybody could ever imagine. This couldn’t have happened to a nicer happier human being.”

John Wood, chairman of Bovingdon FC, added: “Jack was the nicest lad and hardest working player you could wish to know. All of his teammates thought the world of Jack and are shocked by these events.”