Totem tribute to Sidbury boy taken in by Exeter Chiefs

Tributes to a much-loved teenager continue to come in all shapes and sizes – even a replica Native American monument.

The Sidbury Players wanted a loving home for the totem pole they built in memory of popular Jordan Cross after their triumphant ‘cowboys and Indians’ themed pantomime last year.

Rugby team and local tribe, the Exeter Chiefs, took in the technicolour tower and unveiled it on Monday.

Sidmouth College student Jordan, 18, who suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, died in December last year - but not before touching the hearts of the community.

He was known throughout his home village and often helped out with ticket sales at the Sidbury Players’ performances.

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“Everybody knew Jordan; he was a popular boy,” said David Maltby, treasurer of the amateur dramatics society.

His family have a strong connection with the Sidbury Players - or ‘Sids’. His sister, Chelsea, 18, has been in all of their pantomimes since she was a five-year-old, along with her grandma and great-grandma.

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In a busy week for the Crosses, dad Rodney was presented the Villager of the Year Award at Sidbury Fair by Olympian Mary King, and the annual duck race was renamed in Jordan’s memory.

The family are looking forward to watching the Chiefs now the totem pole has been erected.

The rugby club regularly donates to charity, and one of the club’s beneficiaries tied the unveiling to a gift to an organisation that helped Jordan. Vranch House needed a car so that it can continue to deliver paediatric care to more than 2,000 children with physical disabilities across Devon, including Sidmouth. The Exeter Foundation contacted the rental company, Thrifty, which obligingly provided a vehicle for the charity.

“Jordan always loved Vranch House, it’s such a good little school,” said Rodney.

The foundation fundraises every year and awards the money to its 17 charities in an annual dinner, which takes place tonight (Friday).

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