Burnley FC mourning after death of Alex MacDonald's mum (40)

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YOUNG Clarets forward Alex MacDonald has thanked the club for their support after the loss of his mother.

Janette Fackrell (40) died peacefully last Friday following a long illness.

Senior professionals and manager Brian Laws have rallied round the Chester-born 19-year-old – on the way back from a double hernia operation – and he said: "Inside I feel lost.

"I am trying to carry on my life as normal, trying to put a brave face on around the lads.

"They are a great bunch at Burnley and they have been there for me, asking how I am.

"Clarke Carlisle was on the phone to me on Saturday morning when he found out. He was magnificent.

"I spoke to the manager on Saturday as well, and he was first class. He said whatever I need they would give me. I have the support of everyone at the club.

"I haven't missed a day's training. I'm trying to do as much as I can, especially coming back from injury."

His mother, a former air stewardess who lived in South Wales, had suffered from a mystery illness for five years, and her condition began to deteriorate over the last year.

Further tests will look to provide answers for Alex, brother Chris (23) and step-father Mike, but there could be a 12-week wait before discovering the cause of death.

MacDonald has made seven appearances for Burnley, after coming through the youth ranks where he was named Youth Team Player of the Year in 2008, the last coming a year ago in the FA Cup at Arsenal.

He spent the first half of this season on loan at SPL side Falkirk.

Although born in England, he qualifies to play for Scotland through his father, and is a regular for the Under 19s.

He hopes to go on and continue to do his mother and family proud: "She always pushed me when I was younger because she saw I liked to play football. When I had trial with Liverpool, before I came to Burnley, she was there.

"She used to do a lot of driving around for me, but she didn't mind at all because she knew it's what I wanted to do. When I was about 10, she went to a fortune teller who told her one of her two sons would become a professional footballer. When it happened she was so proud.

"My mum always wanted me to be the best I could be. It doesn't get any better than playing in the Premier League, and hopefully some day I will fulfil that dream for myself and for my mum.

"When I signed my first professional contract she was over the moon, crying down the phone. She was ecstatic. So proud."