A TEENAGE boy tragically took his own life just days after his rugby mate died alongside his dad in a construction site fall.
Callum Cunningham, 17, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, died on Monday, May 31, leaving his friends and family heartbroken.
His tragic death comes just days after one of his close friends, Clayton Bottomley, 18, died after being injured in the same horror industrial accident which killed his dad.
David Bottomley, 53, died after falling down a construction lift shaft while working at one of the Unity buildings in Rumford Place in Liverpool city centre on May 19.
The grieving community in West Yorkshire has now been left devastated by the death of Clayton's pal Callum.
Tributes have been flooding in for the "terrific" teenager, and one of his best friends, Taylor Hardwick, 18, has set up a fundraising page in memory of the young man.
"He always had a smile on his face and made everyone else smile too," he told Leeds Live.
The pair played rugby together and Taylor wanted to do his part to encourage people to speak out about their mental health.
"I want people to speak up and let other people know how they feel," he said.
"With men, we have always got a chip on our shoulders.
"We want to look good and we never speak about our feelings. Lots of us feel like we're to blame and that we could have done more."
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EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
Taylor added: "We spoke to Callum every day and checked up on him but we didn't know how he was feeling and I've now come to terms with that and there is no way we could have known."
In an emotional tribute on Facebook, Eastmoor Dragons ARLFC described Callum as a "truly terrific player, with the heart of a lion".
On June 1, the club said in a statement: "This morning as a club, like many of you are, are waking up to the devastating news that we have lost one of our own.
"We have been informed of the truly heartbreaking news that one of our Juniors; Callum Cunningham is no longer with us.
"Callum was a truly terrific player, with the heart of a lion, who feared nothing on the field and gave everything, every time he pulled the Eastmoor shirt on.
"However, more importantly, Callum was a terrific young man who was great to be around.
"The club would like to extended their condolences to Callum’s close family, friends and the community as a whole after this terrible news. We want every individual to know that this club is here for people, no matter what.
"Rest in peace, Callum Cunningham."
Clayton and David, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, were previously described as "inseparable" and "very much peas in a pod".
An investigation has been launched by detectives at Merseyside Police and the Health and Safety Executive after the tragic deaths.
The Unity buildings are made up of two connecting towers – a 27-storey residential block with 161 apartments and a 16-floor building of commercial space.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.
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