THE teenage son of a Wigan man who committed suicide after a long battle with depression today said he hoped the tragedy would sound a warning to others about the potentially deadly illness.
Trevor Green was killed when he was hit by a train at Mauldeth Road railway Station in Cheshire on December 11.
His brave son, Jack, doesn’t want his father’s death to be in vain though and is using it to raise awareness of depression, not least its effects and how sufferers and their families should seek help.
The 19-year-old saw at first hand his father’s devastating spiral of decline over the last 12 months in particular, his having suffered from the illness for many years.
Jack lives in Cardiff with his mum and his sister, while Trevor moved up to the North West after going through a divorce with Jack’s mother.
It was Jack and Trevor’s mutual love of Wigan Athletic that meant the father and son saw each other on a regular basis.
Jack used to make the 200-mile journey to the borough to watch matches with Trevor at the DW Stadium, where they had been season ticket-holders since Trevor made the move six years ago.
The teenager’s journey was made easier though when he gained a place at Manchester University this academic year.
“We used to go watching Wigan Athletic together all the time,” said Jack.
“When my parents divorced, my dad moved back up north close to where he was from and that was how it came about.
“Three days before he took his own life, I told him I couldn’t go to the game against QPR but I snuck down early, got the players to sign a shirt and when he got there I gave it to him.
“He sat next to me and burst into tears.
“He was a big northern bloke and it was just heart-breaking to see. I was just glad I got the chance to give him the signed shirt before he went.”
As would be expected, Trevor’s death has hit Jack hard but it is the battle his father had beforehand which has prompted the student to talk out about depression.
Jack added: “I just want to tell everyone my story and even though it’s a bit gruesome. It needs to be done in order to start tackling it.
“This year living in Manchester with university, I’ve been able to see him quite often and just seen him completely deteriorate.
“He’d say he was struggling and worrying about a lot of stuff.
“He just used to say he worried about the world and things which he couldn’t affect himself.
“He wouldn’t sleep much and he kind of seemed as if he was in a dark hole and he just couldn’t pull himself out.
“He couldn’t think properly but sometimes I would say something like ‘I had an exam today’ and a couple of hours later he would ask ‘have you had an exam today?’
“He was just in his own little world.”
Jack now wants to get through to other people who may be too afraid to open up and tell others about what they are going through.
While researching depression, he came across a website called the calmzone (www.thecalmzone.net) which states that the vast majority of depression-related suicides are committed by men.
Jack added: “If I can make one dad read this and think ‘I’ve got kids at home; if I don’t get this sorted I could leave them behind too,’ and they then go get help, it’ll be worth it.
“Being silent isn’t being strong.
“That’s a quote I like and it’s so true. I have no regrets, I couldn’t have done anymore.
“I used to say to my dad to keep him going, obviously with him being a football man, Messi needs Xavi and Iniesta so if you need help it doesn’t matter.
“He was on anti-depressants but I don’t think they really helped. I don’t think he really let out what was troubling him.
“He was 65. He had a lot of regrets over his lifetime and he wasn’t the sort of guy to let it out.
“The feeling of depression must be so severe if the only way to sort it is to take your own life.
“I hope people can take a kick up the backside and go seek help and not feel embarrassed.
“Football was escapism for him, I guess. I definitely want to keep going. The first game will be a really hard one. We’ve had the same seats for about six years now and I want to try to keep his seat in my name.”