Tributes paid to tragic former Sheffield Giants player as appeal is launched to fly him home after shock death
The family of a former Sheffield Giants American Football player who tragically lost his battle with mental health is trying to raise the money to fly him home.
Josh Meldrum was a key member of the Giants’ 2019 BAFA Premier North division team, who was hugely popular with fellow players and coaches at the club.
The club was rocked by the devastating news last Tuesday, August 24, that he had taken his own life, aged just 29, having struggled with his mental health for some years.
Josh’s cousin Steven Clennell is trying to raise £5,000 to fly him home to his family in Melbourne, Australia, with any money left over going to the charity CALM to help other people with their mental health.
“Josh was very kind and caring and if someone else was unhappy he would always put his problems to one side to try to cheer them up,” said Steven.
“He made a massive impact on many people’s lives through various sports, as a friend but mostly as a family member, and he will be missed by us all.
“He had struggled with his mental health for a few years but he always appeared to be a happy bubbly person we all knew him as.”
Steven told how Josh had travelled to England around five years ago to complete his studies before beginning a career in civil engineering, working for Costain.
He lived in Leeds but played for and coached at various American Football teams in the UK.
Steven said: “It would mean so much to Josh’s family to have him home.
“Hopefully we can raise the money for that and some money for CALM in his memory, which could help other people going through what he did and maybe save their lives.”
The Sheffield Giants, who honoured Josh before and during their game at Merseyside Nighthawks on Sunday, said: “He will be sorely missed by the Giants organisation, as well as those who had the honour of playing alongside him at Leeds Carnegie and Western Crusaders, in his native Australia.”
If you need to talk, you can call the Samaritans for free 24/7 on 116 123.
To donate to the fundraising appeal for Josh, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-joshua-meldrum?qid=26127376ea103f29c22773e5df1da12b.