Northern Ireland

Jerry Thompson's family urge others to seek help

Jerry Thompson Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Jerry Thompson made 10 appearances for Carrick Rangers in the Irish Premiership this season

The mother of a footballer who took his own life earlier this month has said he was looking forward to Christmas with his eight-month-old son.

Jerry Thompson played for Carrick Rangers in the Irish Premiership.

Leanne Thompson, the 24-year-old's mother, in an interview with BBC News NI, urged others to talk and not struggle alone.

"We are heartbroken. There has to be people out there for these kids to talk to," she said.

"There has to be help for them and people are just waiting far too long on waiting lists to get this kind of help."

Image caption Leanne Thompson said her son doted on his eight-month-old son

Speaking on Friday, Ms Thompson said Jerry had prepared to go to football training on the day he died.

"My Jerry had his football gear in the washing machine and his wee boots on the radiator drying," she said.

"We just don't know why he's done this.

Image caption Jerry Thompon's son with his sister Chantelle Shields

"He doted on his wee boy, he got his wee boy Christmas things.

"Bought the two of them the same coats that they were going to wear on Christmas Day and he was looking forward to it so much."

Jerry's sister Chantelle Shields said young men could be embarrassed to talk about their problems.

"If he had just of talked to one of us, he could still be here," she said.

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