THE close knit family of a teenager who tragically died from an undiagnosed heart condition is set to embark on a charity walk.

Jack Atkinson, 18, from Clacton, died in November 2016 after suffering a heart attack after playing a football match for Holland FC.

The news of the promising defender’s death shook the community - not least his team mates and school friends from Clacton Coastal Academy - and club bosses at Holland FC described him as a “gentle giant.”

Since then, his family members have taken part in several fundraising challenges in aid of the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity, which raises awareness of the risks of cardiac arrest in young people.

In 2018, Jack’s dad Matthew raised more than £1,200 for the non-profit organisation by tackling the gruelling London Marathon,

This year, Jack’s family and friends were meant to take part in the charity’s Hearts of London Bridges Walk, but the event was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

His uncle, Richard Baker, has instead now organised a socially-distanced walk from Clacton Pier to the Holland Haven Country Park to raise funds in Jack’s memory.

Kitted out in matching t-shirts and armed with balloons and banners, the dedicated group hopes its efforts will help raise awareness.

“We feel very fortunate to still be able to raise awareness for CRY in Jack’s memory despite the devastating impact of coronavirus on the charity’s vital events,” he said.

“By taking part in a walk closer to home, we are still hoping to unite people in their memories, not just of Jack but of all the young people who have died tragically from previously undiagnosed heart conditions.”

The walk will take place on Sunday, on the same day the charity’s event was scheduled to.

CRY chief executive Dr Steven Cox praised the family for not letting the pandemic get in the way of honouring Jack.

“The family and friends of Jack Atkinson are amazingly committed to the cause and we know they will embrace this slightly different day of connecting and remembering,” he said.

CRY works to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through screening and research. To find out more visit