The football charity day is centred around youth football matches for ages 7-11. The idea is that it will be a great family day year after year where we can join in festivities and raise money and awareness.
In 2019, three local young men in Thanet lost their lives. One was confirmed as suicide and all three suffered with mental health issues.
The parents, friends and families of these 3 men want to raise awareness for men’s mental health. Paul, Marc and Ben all suffered with mental issues that many of us weren’t aware of.
Too many young men struggle with these issues. We need to make it OK for men to talk about their feelings, their struggles and realise its OK to talk, cry and ask for help.
Let’s make the day count!
To make the day really count we chose a local charity that we could raise money for and really make a difference in tackling men’s mental health.
Visit the Speakup CIC website to learn more about the cause.
Don’t suffer in silence.
If you’re feeling under pressure, having suicidal thoughts, or need advice with mental health issues, please call one of these services and talk to someone about it.
Local donations from people and companies that knew the lads or their families.
If you want to ask a question, make a donation, or send a message of support, please contact the Football United team either via Facebook or by using this contact form.
“Ben was my son, my first born. A handsome, kind, loving man, a true gent, always eager to help others, would put himself out for anyone, friend or stranger.
He was a loving father to his son (13) and daughters (4 & 2). He was a loving husband to his beautiful wife, had a good job and a beautiful home… To others he had it all but mental health does not care; it can get to anyone.
Ben had a very clean appearance, always dressed well, he had a beautiful smile with the whitest, perfect teeth. My son was loved so much by everyone. He loved his sport, especially football, which he played and watched.
As a family, we slowly saw Ben changing, getting worse in the last year after the death of my younger son Lee, who took his own life April 2018. This was to push Ben’s mental health to the limits.
Unfortunately, on the day that Ben decided to join his brother, in June 2019, we had no idea he was at the point of no return. He had spoken to me the night before, happy, and his words were “getting on with my life”. I really thought we had turned a corner but while his outer appearance was good, the inner was at its lowest.
We all need to be aware that mental health can catch anyone. I never thought it would get my two sons. They were happy, popular, always joking around.
We need help with this awful illness, more out of hours help. Mental health doesn’t only come on between 9-5. Help is needed 24/7 to help these poor souls. The heartache this illness causes a family is awful. You feel guilt, “why didn’t I notice?”, you cry more tears than you could ever imagine whenever you’re alone. You get on with your life but you can be smiling when you go out then a reminder can hit you so you go quiet, trying not to have a meltdown. These are feelings you try hard to control. Your loved one thought they would be better off without them. That is what mental health tells them.
So, money needs to be raised to help others from suffering this awful illness. I don’t want other families to suffer a tragic loss of life all because money is not available to have 24/7 help for these poor people with mental health problems, so please help support this event.”
“As Marc’s family, none of us saw this coming. We could never in our worst possible thoughts have ever imagined that Marc was in such a dark place. We still can’t. As a result, the whole dynamic of our family has now changed forever. As, obviously, our lives can never be the same, we are truly heartbroken and devastated at the loss or our son, father, brother, cousin and uncle, and also friend.
Marc was a great friend to all who regarded him as a friend and when you were in his company, he would make you fell like you were his best friend, even if you had only just met him.
Marc for us all was a larger-than-life character. He was a practical joker with a great sense of humour with an amazing smile, which charmed everyone he met and will be greatly missed by us all. He was kind, loving, giving – a gentleman who would help anyone with whom he came into contact if they needed it.
Marc took pride in his appearance, enjoying going to the gym and eating healthily. When he was a schoolboy of 13 he took up boxing, which he greatly enjoyed. At 17 he travelled to Australia, where he worked as a concrete construction worker, often getting up at 3:30am and cycling 16 kilometers to work from 4am until midday. Whilst in Australia he continued to box, whereupon at 18 he became Queensland state champion.
He loved his work as an electrician and was very meticulous in his approach and method. He had a great work ethic and worked hard to make a success of himself and his business. Marc often formed lasting friendships with his clients, who always spoke highly of him. This was the measure of him.
We feel that the pressures put on young men today are often not recognised and so are currently not being discussed enough. These include social media peer pressure, and ridiculous levels of expectation from all aspects of life, be that work, social, or family based. We don’t feel there is enough professional help available for these troubled young men, or even the families and friends that are left behind after these awful events.
We would urge anyone who has any time to please get involved in supporting this event in any way you possibly can, even if it’s just by attending. It will be a fun day for a very good cause and hopefully will help to raise awareness of this tragic issue that blights modern society.”
“I don’t know where to start when it comes to describing Paul. He’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met. He was the best husband and the most incredible friend. Paul was devoted to his family and friends, and he gave his all in everything. Such a big personality and loved so much by everyone who met him. He’s the kind of guy who instantly makes friends and becomes everyone’s best friend.
I was lucky to have him as my soul mate… He completed me. Paul brought out the best in everyone around him… his friends and his students who adored him. An incredibly kind, caring, spirited, happy, and funny person.
Paul had a whole-hearted passion for life, for living, for adventure. He travelled, he lived in different countries, he loved new experiences. And no matter what he was doing, he always made effort and kept his family and friends close, no matter the distance. He was ambitious and he was motivated in work and in sport and in everything that he did. From football to triathlons to Champion dashes. He embraced life and everything it threw at him. That’s what makes it so surreal that he’s not here today.
Paul was a warrior. He fought so hard, showing incredible strength right up to his last battle. He was taken away from us all far too soon, suddenly and unexpectedly. We had so much more to look forward to, more adventures planned. There are so many broken hearts around the world feeling the loss of such an amazing young man…. A husband, son, brother, friend, and teacher.
Paul made the world a brighter better place. Missed and loved more than words can say.”