Sheffield mental health charity encourages men to open up after Wednesday fan Ben Whittington dies
A men’s mental health charity in Sheffield has encouraged men to speak out after a body believed to be Sheffield man Ben Whittington was found by Ladybower reservoir yesterday.
Ben, aged 26, had been reported missing after last being seen in Gleadless on Monday, and a police search assisted by fire crews and Edale Mountain Rescue Team was launched after his van was spotted on a lane near the reservoir yesterday.
South Yorkshire Police announced at around 5pm yesterday that a body had sadly been found and whilst formal identification had yet to take place it was believed to be that of Mr Whittington.
Tributes from fellow Sheffield Wednesday fans have poured in, and a statement from Ben’s family has been shared by friends on social media.
It says: “We’re all very heartbroken right now. We just want to thank all the people who helped by searching and sharing in order to find Ben.
“We were blown away with how many wonderful people there are that helped throughout.
“We have lost a very kind, caring and incredibly loving member of our family because of mental illness. We will always love you Ben.”
And Sheffield mental health support group Andy’s Man Club wrote a post highlighting the tragedy of mental health issues and offering to help any men who feel they have nowhere to turn.
They wrote: “Tragic, tragic news in the city this afternoon.
“Please lads, if you're struggling, give us a chance. Just come along on a Monday evening.
“It’s free, no one else needs to know and you don't have to get a referral in. It's confidential and non judgemental. No paperwork.
“Just blokes helping blokes. It can be that simple.
“We've all been there. We get it. It can get better. Just walk through the door and give it a chance.
“R.I.P. young man, and love and strength to his family and friends.”
Relative Becky Leanne said: “Thank you to South Yorkshire Police, Edale mountain rescue and all the other rescue teams out in Derbyshire along with all the shares and support and people coming out to help us look for Ben. Your support means the world to our family.
“Only if Ben knew how loved he really was and that he didn’t need to suffer alone.”