THE mother of former Chelsea youth player Jordan Tabor has paid tribute to her “wonderful son” after he died on holiday in Turkey on Wednesday.
Mr Tabor, 23, is believed to have fallen from his hotel room a week into the stay at the Titanic Beach Lara Hotel, in Antalya.
Louise Bates, from Wootton, near Abingdon, said the messages she has received about her son show how much he was loved.
She said: “He was our life, he was our son, he was our best friend. He had a kiss and a hug for everybody he ever met. He was a wonderful son and an amazing brother.
“Seeing the wonderful messages everyone has put up [on the Internet] just makes you realise what a respected, great, wonderful person he was.
“He loved life and he lived it fearlessly and he had a great time.
“I have no ‘what ifs’ because there were no ‘what ifs’ with him. We did everything together and we’re going to make sure his soul and his infectious personality will live on.”
Mr Tabor, whose dad Craig Jeffrey lives in Los Angeles, was on holiday with his girlfriend Danielle McEachran, the sister of Chelsea and England under-21s midfielder Josh, who lives in Oxford.
Mr McEachran, who was with them in Turkey, tweeted: “Rest in peace my older brother Jordan Tabor. Love you forever mate!
“Can’t stop thinking about you bro!”
Mr McEachran’s girlfriend, Coronation Street star Brooke Vincent, also tweeted her tributes to Mr Tabor.
Mumtaz Fareed, 46, who played football with Mr Tabor for Oxford Football Club Barcelona (FCB) said: “I had known him for about five years and in that time we’d developed three different relationships.
“To me he was like a son, he was like a brother and he was also my favourite footballer.
“He was a very popular guy with all his team-mates. Nobody ever said a bad word about him.”
Mr Tabor played for Chelsea’s youth team between 2005 and 2009.
A spokesman for the club said: “Everyone at Chelsea was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Jordan’s passing. All of our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
After leaving the club, he had a second spell at Didcot Town and later moved to Kidlington FC.
The clubs held a minute’s silence before their pre-season friendly clash last night as a mark of respect.
The Professional Footballers’ Association also released a statement in tribute to Mr Tabor.
The former Abingdon Preparatory School and Cokethorpe School pupil had been working for Secondsite Recruitment in Abingdon since January, after eight months working with British Gas in Oxford.
A spokeswoman for British Gas, Sarah Mahony, said: “Jordan was a really lovely member of our team and made some good friends while he was here.
“We’re deeply saddened to hear of this news and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.”
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