A FORMER Chelsea youth player from Oxford, described as the life and soul of the party, has died while on holiday in Turkey.
Jordan Tabor, 23, from Headington, is believed to have fallen from his hotel room a week into his stay with his girlfriend Danielle McEachran, from Oxford, the sister of Chelsea midfielder Josh.
His lifelong friend Ben Paterson, 26, yesterday paid tribute to the former pupil of Abingdon Preparatory and Cokethorpe schools.
He said: “I suffer from cystic fibrosis and he has always been there for me. I get admitted into hospital quite a lot and he would always fight my battles for me.
“I feel like it should be him sitting here doing this for me because he always said, ‘don’t worry Ben when we go we’ll go together’.
“He was my partner in crime, we would back each other up all the time. The girls all loved him and he was the life and soul of the party.”
“He was my best mate, my brother, I have literally lost half of myself. Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him.”
Mr Tabor, who worked for British Gas, spent four years playing for the Chelsea youth team between 2005 and 2009.
A statement issued by Chelsea FC 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."
He went on to play for Didcot Town before signing for Cheltenham Town and later had spells at Kidlington and AFC Hinksey, where he played last season.
Mr Paterson, a professional golfer, said: “We bonded over sport. He was so talented, one of those guys who was so good at everything. He was great at golf, tennis and had trials with England rugby at youth level.
“He was such a talented footballer, everybody on his team would just pass the ball to him. His left foot was like a wand.”
Didcot Town club spokesman Steve Clare said: “He was a fantastically talented lad.”
In a post on Instagram, Miss McEachran said: “I can’t describe how much this hurts but I am grateful for everyone being there for me and both our families.
We will miss you so much my beautiful baby, and will see you soon. I love you so much.”
Mr Tabor worked at Taylor’s Estate Agents in St Clement’s Street. Annie Bartlett said on behalf of the firm: “He was a genuine, kind-hearted, hilarious man and brought a smile to everyone’s faces.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed it is providing consular assistance.
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