“NO day is ever a good day but some are better than others”, a heartbroken father has admitted nearly two years after his son’s tragic death from suicide.

April 13, 2017, was the last day Simon Wilkes spoke to his youngest son Olly, it was also the day that changed his life forever.

Just an hour after their last chat, Olly was dead.

He had taken his own life at the age of 22.

Mr Wilkes, of Withymoor, Brierley Hill, said: “Everything is still raw now. Every day is an absolute struggle for us.”

The unexpected death of Olly, a carpenter and passionate football player who had grown up playing for Withymoor Colts, has left the 54-year-old football coach, his wife Lynn, aged 52, and their eldest son Ben, aged 26, “totally devastated”.

An outpouring of support from family, friends and the wider Withymoor community has, however, helped them through some of the darkest times.

Inspired by the help and love that has been extended to them - a year after the tragedy they staged a charity football tournament as a celebration of Olly’s too short life.

The Olly Wilkes Memorial Football Tournament was held on May 19, 2018, and Mr Wilkes, a long-time coach for Withymoor Colts FC, said: “It was amazing, hard as it was.”

The event raised £10,000 for charities and united all those who knew and loved Olly, a father-of-one, and it is set to become an annual celebration and fundraiser.

Mr Wilkes, who has been involved with numerous charity events over the years, added: “We need to be doing this to help others and help ourselves.

“The events give us something positive to focus on - hopefully not just to help other causes financially but to help family, friends and the community mentally in bringing them all together to remember our so much-loved Olly.”

He said his son, who had suffered a rare condition affecting the hip known as Perthes disease as a child, had been living in Delph Road with his fiancée and their young son for just over 12 months before he died and he had been making great strides in his job at A&D Joinery in Brierley Hill.

Unbeknownst to his parents, however, the relationship had broken down.

Mr Wilkes told how defender Olly, a West Bromwich Albion fan, had played in a football match and scored a goal just four days before his death and that he had only spoken to his son an hour before he passed away and he said: “It’s so obvious that he was too proud. He’d never ask for help with anything – even when he had Perthes.”

He said he hopes, by speaking out about what happened to Olly, that it will give others experiencing similar problems the courage to reach out and talk or seek help and he added: “They’re sorry circumstances but if it helps anybody else – we’ve done our job.”

Anyone struggling to cope can contact the Samaritans online at Samaritans.org or call 116 123, or email the local Brierley Hill branch at brierleyhillsamaritans@yahoo.co.uk.

The Olly Wilkes Memorial Football Tournament 2019 will be held on Saturday June 22 at Thorns Collegiate Academy, Quarry Bank.

Money raised from the event will go to the Justice for Ryan campaign.