A fundraiser held in the memory of Dundee footballer Jayson Alexander has raised more than £15,000 for the mental health charity Back Onside.
Young dad Jayson, who died last year aged 32, played with Lochee United and worked at Dundee FC as the club’s fitness coach.
A memorial dinner held in his honour raised £15,300 for the mental health charity Back Onside, which supports young people and adults with mental health challenges.
Speaking at the event, Jayson’s wife Lynsey said Back Onside had reached out to her after his tragic death.
In a moving speech, she told those who attended: “In the days that would follow Jayson’s death, a charity called Back Onside offered their support to me and his team at Morgan.
“I didn’t understand how anything could possibly help me in my situation. I
thought my life was over, how could I ever recover from what had happened?
“Well, it did help. Talking helped. And it still does.”
Explaining why she organised the memorial dinner in aid of Back Onside, Lynsey told guests that she wanted to push for acceptance of talking about mental health.
Lynsey, who shared two children with Jayson, added: “The reality of suicide is that it doesn’t end the pain, it simply passes it to those who you love the most, for the rest of their lives.
The reality of suicide is that it doesn’t end the pain, it simply passes it to those who you love the most, for the rest of their lives
“I don’t blame Jayson for what he did or didn’t do when it came to his struggles or how he died.
“But over time I have accepted his death and also the loss of my future with him and our two beautiful children we had together.”
Organisers said the night was full of emotion and reflection as people paid tribute to the footballer, who also worked for Dundee radio station Wave FM.
They said: “What a fantastic amount of money you all raised and we cannot thank every one of you enough.
“We had amazing support from many, many businesses and organisations and we must thank our event sponsor Clark Anderson Property management.”
Libby Emmerson, founder of Back Onside, said she was blown away by the amount raised.
“Back Onside are so grateful to the Jayson Alexander Memorial Fundraising Group for raising such an incredible amount of money which will go a long way to helping people with their mental health.
Money raised will support 25 people through counselling
“Our mission is to get the people of Scotland Back Onside with their mental health through our crisis support line, professional counselling, outreach programmes, courses to schools, sports clubs and business and more.
“£15,300 will allow us to put 25 people through weekly professional counselling for three months which not only gives people invaluable support and help in their hour of need but can save lives,” she said.
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.