The mother of Carrick Rangers player Jerry Thompson who died suddenly on Tuesday has urged people who are struggling with their mental health to speak out and seek help.
Speaking from her home yesterday she paid an emotional and heartbreaking tribute to her beautiful and talented son saying “He was just our hero, we’re just going to miss him something serious. He loved us, he loved his girlfriend and we just don’t understand why he did this,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.
“He was doing so well in his football. He scored goals, he set goals up and that’s all my Gerard lived for was his football. It’s hard because we know that’s what he wanted, he got it and then he goes and does this. It was just like a split second, whatever it is came over his head and he was gone.”
Ms Thompson said her son had always been able to manage the “ups and downs” of life before but kept things to himself.
“He was kind, he was generous, he would have done anything for anybody,” she said.
“His wee boy just meant everything to him, that’s why we can’t understand why he did this.
“If anybody is thinking about doing something like this at all they need to speak to people, let people know what’s going through their heads. Not just doing something like this. My son kept everything to himself, he never spoke about anything.
“It was very hard to get things out of him but if we were going through anything he was always there for us, trying to pull us together as a family. He said he would never do this and leave his son. I just don’t know what came over him in that split hour.”
Ms Thompson said the day before Gerard had died he had taken his son for a picture with Santa and proudly displayed it when he came home.
“He was out buying his child matching Christmas clothes and a wee silver Mercedes car with a remote control so he could steer it,” she said.
“He was just looking forward to things like that so much which is why I can’t understand it.
“We lived our life going to watch him play football every Saturday or on the TV. He was just always happy.
“If he came in the house and saw anyone of us crying he would have broke down. His daddy had taken heart attacks before and Gerard used to say, ‘How can we bury my daddy?’ But now I’m burying him. It’s just horrible.”
A funeral mass for Mr Thompson will be held on Saturday at 9am in Belfast at Sacred Heart Parish.