THE mother of a teenager who died after allegedly being stabbed will use her heartache to fuel a campaign aimed at turning young people away from knives.

Zoey McGill’s son, Jack Woodley, was found badly injured near the Britannia Inn, at Houghton-le-Spring, on Saturday, October 16. The 18-year-old died in hospital the following day.

Mrs McGill is determined to show young people the devastation knives can cause and hopes to get support from schools and sportspeople including Jack’s idol, boxer Tyson Fury.

Read more: TikTok tribute to Aycliffe teen Jack Woodley at Houghton funfair

The 34-year-old, who works as a supervisor at pharmaceutical company GSK in Barnard Castle, said: “I’ll never ever get rid of this pain, nothing can hurt more than losing my son.

“I want something good to come from it.

“I would happily go round schools and show kids that knives don’t protect them they can take lives, in our case not just Jack’s but all our family’s lives forever.

“We need high profile people, role models for our young people, to get involved.

“We need young people to take notice, you never think these things are going to happen to you but if people carry a knife, it might.”


Jack and Jayden at mum Zoeys wedding to Chris

Jack and Jayden at mum Zoey's wedding to Chris


Jack and Jayden

Mrs McGill said one of Jack’s younger brothers, 13-year-old Jayden, shared his love of Tyson Fury and has suggested contacting him to see if he would support any future campaign.

She said: “So much needs to be done but the kids look up to him so much, if someone like him says ‘no’ to knives we might make a difference.

“Both Jack and Jayden were big fans, Jack actually wrote ‘dosser’, which is what Tyson Fury often says, on my car.

“I’m trying to sell it now for money towards the funeral, but I don’t even want to wash it because it’s the last car Jack was in and I can see where he wrote that.”


Zoey and Chris McGill Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Zoey and Chris McGill Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT


Zoey and Chris McGill Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Mrs McGill said Jack, who was living in Sunderland, had been to the funfair at Houghton Feast before he was fatally injured.

He was looking forward to starting a job at Amazon in Gateshead and hoped to move in with his girlfriend.

A Go Fund Me online fundraising page set up in his memory has so far made more than £2,300 to go towards his funeral, the campaign as well as the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and its staff.

She said: “They tried really hard to save him, the compassion they showed was incredible. We want to thank them and if we raise quite a lot then it will go on a campaign or to help other families in a similar situation, because every day knives cause more heartbreak.”

l Seven teenagers, aged 14 to 17, have appeared at Newcastle Crown Court accused of murdering Jack Woodley. The case has been adjourned until November 17 for a pre-trial review.


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