Jose Valentin

Jose Valentin

A YOUNG British man who died after falling from a Spanish hotel balcony has been named as a former Manchester United and Manchester City academy footballer.

Michael Jones, 21, from Little Lever, Bolton, is thought to have been on holiday with friends when the tragedy occurred at about 11pm on July 4th at the Apartamentos Vina Del Mar in the Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm. It is believed Michael toppled over railings on the balcony of a hotel room.

Now his parents have flown to Spain to arrange Michael’s repatriation and talk to the investigating authorities.

Michael was signed to Manchester City’s academy at the age of six before moving across town to Manchester United. From the age of 12 he played for local teams including Bury FC Academy, Walshaw Sports Club, Bolton Town and Ramsbottom United FC. He joined Little Lever Sports Club two years ago.

A memorial football match has been arranged between his Bolton-based club and Walshaw Sports Club, and a GoFund Me page has been set up to help his family with repatriation and funeral expenses.

Speaking on Facebook, Michael’s father, Paul Jones, said: “My main priority now is for Joseph, my younger son, he is staying strong, stronger than I ever thought possible, but he hurts beyond words. I ask that his and Mike’s friends help him through this awful time.”

Michael is survived by his parents, Paul and Kath, step-mum Janet, brothers Joseph and Robert and two sisters, Elisabeth and Sarah.

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IN the aftermath of a violent week in what is known as the ‘English zone’ of Benidorm, that has witnessed shootings and a local comedian ending up in an induced coma fighting for his life, the local council and the police have acted immediately.  According to a report in the Spanish media, they have said that “enough is enough”.

In addition to installing more CCTV cameras in the zone of Calle Mallorca that should be completed within the next two weeks, there will be a permanent police presence in the area to act as a deterrent to the criminals – especially alleged drug dealers – and the general excesses of anti-social behaviour by the tourists in the area.

A meeting is being held today (Friday July 6) between the Benidorm City Council and the National Police to formally address the issue. 

However, one immediate change to the law has seen the withdrawal of the permissions for those people that roam the streets close to the pubs and clubs on ‘public relations’ and encourage passers-by to visit their venues...a number of which are suspected by the authorities as promoting the sale and use of drugs to tourists. 

Pubs could face fines of up to €1,200 for breaking the ban.

SPANISH broadband and telecommunications provider Telefonica has snapped up the rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League and Europa League football from rival Mediapro.

The firm will fork out €1.08 billion for the 2018-2021 period, paying €360 million for each of the next three seasons, it said in a statement.

It comes after its recent acquisition of La Liga football from 2019-2022, with the multinational now holding a monopoly on pay-per-view football rights in the Spanish domestic market.

The agreement includes shared advertising rights for a set of new Movistar-branded channels to be launched in the coming weeks.

Telefonica Spain’s president, Emilio Gayo, said: “The award of the main lots of the rights of La Liga last Monday cements Telefonica’s commitment to television with our customers’ most-watched content, now completed with the Champions and the Europa League.”

TWO-TIME Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has today been drawn against eccentric Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round of the tournament, which starts on Monday.

Murray said after his loss to compatriot Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne on Wednesday that he would only play at the All England Club if he knew he could compete.

Ironically, Paire was the last man Murray beat at Wimbledon last year, a straight sets win in the fourth round.

The 32 year-old Scotsman continues to evaluate his physical fitness on a daily basis, and is practicing again today in preparation for the match on Tuesday.

Paine has a big serve and a world-class backhand, but his forehand is so unpredictable that he sometimes runs around to hit the double-hander instead – unheard of in tennis.

He also has a fondness for eye-catching looks, including hair that has been dyed white and light grey.

It is not the easiest draw for Murray, as Paine has been as high as 18 in the world, and had two match points against Federer last week which he failed to convert.

Meanwhile British number 1 Kyle Edmund has a slightly more comfortable opening match against Australian qualifier Alex Bolt, the world number 205.

TORROX Council has unveiled a giant Spanish flag made out of more than 1,000 red and yellow umbrellas placed to mark this year’s World Cup.

The instalment is the latest in a series of similar works made from umbrellas that have been put up since summer 2015. It stretches down into the town from the Plaza de la Constitucion.

Oscar Medina, the town’s mayor, officially presented the display to the public last Tuesday.

He said the umbrella installations previously put up had become a ‘great red flag’ to coincide with the football tournament currently taking place in Russia.

“This new display shows our eagerness to offer our support to the Spanish team,” he said. The mayor added officials hoped the display, which costs some €20,000 a year to install, would attract more visitors to Torrox.

A BRITISH man’s birthday holiday to Alicante City was quashed leaving him out of pocket after his flight was cancelled and no replacement offered.

Paul Davies, 49, from Cardiff, was due to fly with easyJet to the Costa Blanca destination last Sunday from Bristol Airport at 7.45pm with 11 friends.

They paid the equivalent of around €3,400 for the trip. The plane was cancelled due to a French air traffic control strike as they were about to board it following a two hour delay. Around half of his party were able to get a replacement flight from Gatwick Airport but Davies told British media the rest had to abort the trip.

“I am very distressed and upset, there was just no information. It’s really spoiled my birthday celebrations,” he said. Paul added he was unable to rebook due to hotels being full.

GUARDIA CIVIL officers have used an aerial drone to help find six hikers, five of them elderly, lost in the Sierra de Orxeta.

Officers were called out to the mountainous area, near La Villajoyosa, after being informed the walkers were exhausted and suffering from dehydration. 

The hikers, one aged 40 and the others between 70 and 80, were said to have being affected by high temperatures while walking last Sunday afternoon.

Police used a remote control drone to find the walkers with other emergency services co-ordinated from its findings.

A helicopter was despatched which picked up the six hikers and transferred them to the car park of La Villajoyosa’s sports centre. They were met by medical personnel on their arrival.

Emergency services said all the hikers were in good health other than their exhaustion and they did not need hospital treatment.

As far as I’m concerned, these so called graffiti ‘artists,’ are not only a blight on the landscape but a blight on our whole society. 

Their daubs scrawls and indiscriminate obscenities, desecrate our buildings, bridges, rolling stock and just about anything else that gets in the way of their sanctimonious spray cans.  

I do admit that a small minority (ala Banksy) can indeed be creative, and sometimes even enhance buildings and structures that are otherwise gloomy and run down but the majority are not. 

Most are anti-social destructive louts, with nothing better to do than destroy other people’s creations and hard work. 

Far from it for me to declare that the three young men who were recently rundown and tragically killed by a train deserved what they got, of course they didn’t, but there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that they simply shouldn’t have been there in the first place. 

An insight into the so called ‘artistic’ morality of some of these people was starkly demonstrated in the reaction of some of the like-minded friends of these three young men. 

Apparently, the following day ‘tensions were running high’ at the Loughborough Junction, where well-wishers sprayed black hearts and RIP on shutters outside the station. It appears extra police had to be brought in after youths defaced a flower memorial and daubed slogans criticising the police and Transport for London for their actions! 

Er, just a minute, what particular actions were they actually objecting to? The way the police had the utterly disturbing and upsetting job of clearing the remains of the victims from the track? The transport authorities’ highly daunting task of dealing with the disruption and commuter chaos that ensued after the accident?

Give us all a break. The sooner these misfits put the spray cans away, smarten up and get down to learning something from all that mainly free education they take so much for granted, the better it will be for all of us. 

Personally, I would declare all-out war on these people; using CCTV and any means possible to bring them to book. I would like to see them named, shamed and made to clean off their filth, before being heavily fined, losing their student grants or even facing imprisonment.  

How dare these blots on society be allowed to deface other people’s property and cause an affront to our senses in the name of ‘art.’ 

Perhaps something good will come out of this tragedy by discouraging others to risk their lives merely to splosh paint everywhere, but somehow, I doubt it. I dunno, perhaps it’s me.  Sometimes I truly feel I’m getting too old for it all.

One totally unrelated action I would like to suggest before I finally check out, is to remove the words ‘well done’ and ‘amazing’ from the English language. That should strike most of our so-called TV presenters and quizzers utterly dumb and make way for some proper talent who can actually ad lib their way out of the proverbial paper bag!

Keep the faith. Love Leapy - [email protected]


Leapy Lee’s opinions are his own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors. 

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