ENGLAND and Manchester City footballers have been pictured wearing memorial wristbands for a Whitworth lifeguard.

England midfielder James Milner and goalkeeper Joe Hart are amongst the MCFC players to have worn the wristbands in memory of 21-year-old Jake Harris.

Jake, who worked at Whitworth Leisure Centre, died in May after suffering a stab wound to the neck in an apartment complex in Salford.

More than 1,000 of the wristbands, marked ‘Forever 21’, have so far been requested from Jake’s dad, Luke.

Mr Harris, 41, a freelance consultant from Littleborough, said Jake was an England supporter and the players’ tribute would have made him very happy.

He said: “It’s a really nice gesture. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who want to keep Jake’s memory alive.

“He liked football, but didn’t support any one team. He wasn’t in it for the winning or losing, he just wanted people to enjoy themselves and didn’t like seeing people unhappy.

“He used to go out drinking in Manchester with Joe Hart, but he didn’t tell many people about it because he didn’t like to brag or put people down.”

Jake’s close friend, Brandon Ashton, a ‘kit boy’ for Manchester City, captured the image of the players with the wristbands.

They were commissioned by Mr Harris, who used optional donations given in return for them to help out with costs for Jake’s funeral and memorial event.

Mr Harris is now looking for a children’s charity to give donations to.

He said: “Jake was born with a hole in his heart and had open heart surgery at three-months-old. Because of the amazing work of the staff at Manchester Children’s Hospital, he made a full recovery.

“I’d like to be able to help other children have the same chance he did.”

Police inquiries into the death of Mr Harris are ongoing and two people have been bailed.

Officers are said to be investigating the possibility his injuries were self-inflicted.

To find out more visit www.jake-harris.co.uk