Just over 4 years now was the day that genuinely changed my life.
It was a hot day and just after I finished college me and two of my friends decided to go to Plumstead Common (Winns Common) to just have a kick about between us. It was a stones throws away from a park that me and one of the guys I was with used to go in when we was younger so we decided to go into the park for old times sake.
When we went into the park we played a bit of football and just chilled for a bit. But I went into a bushy area of the park to go grab the ball that went near there. At that point I didn't expect it to literally change my life. I went into the forresty/bushy area I looked up and thought I see someone sitting in the tree staring at me, which I thought was odd. So I looked up again and then noticed that something wasn't right.
I had found someone who lost their battle with their mind and taken their own life by hanging them self. He looked like he was Eastern European origins and had been there for over 24 hours, I immediately ran to my to my two friends to tell them what happened. I was in so much shock that when I pulled my phone out to call a ambulance I couldn't type my password and even when I did manage to call 999 I couldn't speak and my friend had to speak to them. The lady on the phone asked if we could cut him down to help preserve his life as we didn't know how long he had been there, but none of us had it in us to go back to the exact area we found him.
The police came with an ambulance and also the fire brigade. They took statements from all 3 of us but pronounced him dead at the scene. It felt like the whole of Plumstead stopped and everyone was there as there was so many emergency service vehicles everyone wanted to see what happened. Some how my mum new that all the police cars, ambulance and even fire brigade was something to do with me, call it mother's instinct.
My mum came up to the common and ran over to me as she see I was getting questioned by police on what happened. She was at a local pub near my house and somehow knew something wasn't right so she ran up to the common to see what had happened. The only positive I can take from it being me that found the family friend was a young kid around 6 years old went to run into them bushes and could have found him if I wasn't there before him.
After we left the park I went to the pub that my mum was at and just told a few people what had happened and a few people even made jokes about it. As I'm believe i'm a strong person the jokes didn't massively effect me. I cant remember if it was a few hours or even a few days but i got some news that made the entire situation 1 millions times worse. It turned out the man who had taken his own life was a family friends son. My mum dad and even me knew a lot of his family. I actually grew up with his younger brother occasionally playing football or going around Plumstead with him as they live genuinely 1 road away from me. The family friend was a white man in his 30's. He looked nothing like I remember him and that's what hit me the most when I found out i knew him. I genuinely didn't recognise him he didn't even look English at the time.
I genuinely felt fine about the situation until I actually found out I had met him and a few of his family members, and even grew up with his younger brother. I developed PTSD and it affected me a lot. I wasn't as confident as I was and I couldn't do a lot of what I used to do. I didn't like leaving the house by myself for a while i would ask friends to get me otherwise I wouldn't go out. I still have an irrational fear of opening doors now, incase I pull a door thats a push! Sounds pathetic but still challenges me to this day.
After two years I felt like I was closer to myself than ever before, not 100% myself but better. I decided to do a charity match with my friend Raja to raise money for his two children he left behind. I used to run a team called Welling Comms and Raja and his friends used to occasionally play us. So we decided to do my friends vs. Raja's in the first charity cup final. We planned to make it a yearly thing.
The whole day was a HUGE success and we raised just over £250 on the day independently with no help. Me and Raja was on our way to Bluewater when we had the idea of creating a team solely for the purpose of raising awareness for mental health and helping people who need help the most. Raja came up with the name The People's FC because we do it...FOR THE PEOPLE!
Since that day we have raised over 10K for various causes and charities. We only had one sponsor in our first season (Stingray LTD) and one team. We have never had any help or freebies for our events we do them all by ourselves! Now we have grown as people and also have 4 Peoples FC sides, 3 adult sides and also 1 junior side. We have played and received recognition from Professional clubs, semi pro and the biggest of the YouTube world.
The Peoples FC are a charity team first then a YouTube team second. We will help anyone who needs help the most.
As much as I talk about how it has effected me it has NOTHING on the hardship and the emotions of his family and friends. Hopefully we can help his memory live on and turn the bad things into good!
We do it FOR THE PEOPLE!