Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Football star joins annual suicide prevention event
Former Rangers star Marvin Andrews joined up with local footballers for Lanarkshire‘s annual suicide prevention tournament.
Motherwell charity Fool On were the team lucky to have the Ibrox legend on their side as more than 200 people gathered to raise awareness of suicide and raise vital funds for the Samaritans.
The seven-a-side competition sees firms, charities and groups of friends come together to support the cause and back campaigns from both North and South Lanarkshire councils.
And Andrews certainly hadn’t lost his touch as he helped his team of volunteers through their four games, and even chipped in with a goal.
However despite having an ex-pro on their side, the results for Fool On didn’t go their way – but they loved having the Trinidadian on their side.
Fool On is a charity that helps teach music and singing as a way to deal with mental health.
Stuart Doig from the organisation reached out to Andrews who was more than happy to take part.
Stuart said: “He was a total star; he made everyone’s day and seemed to really enjoy himself, although maybe not the results!
“It was great of him to come along in his own time and help out. He did not even know me as I had him on Facebook and just thought I’d chance it and ask him, I sent him the tournament flyer and a wee bit about us and he agreed.
“He was great but we lost our games; we had people who had not played football and old guys like me. But we all loved the experience and had good fun. Marvin was all over the pitch trying to save us.”
Fool On member Mick Muir added: “He was such a gentleman and was our star performer.”
The tournament also saw representatives from Airdrieonians, Clyde, Hamilton Accies and Motherwell join forces to help tackle the stigma around suicide and to encourage people to talk more openly to help prevent it.
Last year, there were 112 suicides in Lanarkshire. And North Lanarkshire Council wanted to stress the importance of this year’s event after a difficult 18 months for people’s mental health throughout the region.
Paul Kelly, North Lanarkshire Council deputy leader, told us: “It was great to see so many people pulling on their boots to support this suicide prevention football tournament. Sport provides a great platform to raise awareness about suicide.
“Many people, especially after the difficult 18 months everyone has endured during the health pandemic, have suffered from anxiety, depression and loneliness. We want to share the message that help is available and encouraging people to talk openly about suicide.
“We are asking everyone to be alert to the warning signs of suicide. If you are worried about someone, a friend, family member or work colleague, asking them directly about their feelings can make all the difference.
“’Let’s Talk’ is the message we want to get across as we try to encourage everyone to talk more openly about suicide so we can all play our part in helping to prevent it.”
If you are worried about suicide or someone who may be at risk, call the Samaritans on 116123 or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.