Family of Sheffield United fan who died after mental health battle urges men not to suffer in silence

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The heartbroken family of a life-long Sheffield United fan who died after a mental health battle is urging other men not to suffer in silence.

To pay tribute to 57-year-old Tony Travis, his family is calling on fellow Blades to honour him with a one minute round of applause in the 57th minute of Sheffield United’s next home game v Norwich City on Saturday, March 7.

But they want the loud applause to also draw attention to mental health issues and to serve as a reminder of the importance of talking and seeking help.

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Tony TravisTony Travis
Tony Travis | Other 3rd Party
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Tony, a devoted father-of-two and grandfather, died over the same weekend as TV celebrity Caroline Flack, who took her own life in her London home.

Life-long season ticket holder Tony, from Dinnington, collapsed and despite the efforts of members of the public and paramedics could not be revived.

Tony Travis was a life-long BladeTony Travis was a life-long Blade
Tony Travis was a life-long Blade | Other 3rd Party

His devastated niece, Becky Clayton, said he had battled with his mental health for years and his family does not want his death to be in vain.

“Tony was a true Blade, he was devoted to his club and had been since his own dad took him to his first game when he was just three years old,” she said.

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“He was a season ticket holder and took both of his kids to Bramall Lane while they were growing up and would have taken his baby granddaughter, Evelyn, in the future.

“As a fitting tribute we would really appreciate it if fellow Sheffield United fans could honour him in the 57th minutes of the next game – to mark his 57 years with us before he tragically lost his life.”

Becky said: “We also want the tribute to serve as a reminder of how mental health affects so many people and how important it is to talk.

“Everyone is talking about Caroline Flack and what happened to her is heartbreaking too, but non-celebrities are dying due to mental health battles on a daily basis too and we are determined to raise awareness of this.

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“We do not want Tony to have died in vain, and if talking about him helps raise awareness then something positive can come out of something so devastating.

“We also want more support for those who are struggling.”

Becky thanked a member of the public who accompanied Tony to hospital in an ambulance after he collapsed, and who then remained there for hours until all his relatives arrived.

“We do not know who the man is but he was amazing and what happened to Tony will probably impact on him for the rest of his life, but we want to thank him for all he did to help,” she said.

Tony is survived by his partner of 17 years, Jo; son Craig, daughter Kaylie, granddaughter Eveleyn and sisters Jane, Diane and Lyn.

His family is set to approach Sheffield United today to discuss the 57th minute tribute.

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