Robbie Meiklem
Robbie Meiklem was an avid and passionate footballer who played for Girvan FC's Under-20s development team. He passed away on Saturday, September 23rd at Ayr Hospital. Facebook

Robbie Meiklem was a well-mannered, young and passionate Scottish footballer who played for Girvan FC's Under-20s development team.

In a post on Facebook, his father described Robbie as a "lovely, caring young man who was loved by his mum and dad".

However, behind Robbie's cordial smile and unmistakable passion for football, he was struggling greatly with his mental health.

Tragically, the young footballer's life came to a premature end when he made an attempt to take his own life, resulting in him being kept on life support for three days. On Saturday, the 23rd of September, his family made the painful decision to switch off the life support and end his suffering.

Shortly after their devastating loss, the heartbroken Scottish family have now issued desperate and emotional pleas to parents regarding the mental health of their own children.

Robbie's father, Rab, urged parents to "cuddle your children tonight and tell them you love them".

He said: "I feel a strong need to expose mental health issues within our young generation. Please, I beg you all to take mental health issues more seriously to avoid the pain we are going through."

Speaking warmly of his son, Rab said that Robbie was "well-mannered and respectful to everyone he met in life", and added that the family are "struggling to come to terms with what happened".

Following Robbie's own wishes prior to his death, his organs were removed during a late-night operation and were subsequently donated. As a result, it has been reported that Robbie's healthy organs were donated to six recipients throughout the UK.

The young footballer's father commented: "In total, Robbie has managed to save six lives due to Robbie's legacy."

"This does not take the pain away, but knowing that Robbie's heart is still beating is giving our family some solace and comfort," Rab continued in a bittersweet statement.

Additionally, an overwhelming outpour of heartfelt tributes has been shared by many Ayrshire football clubs, who have all expressed their grief whilst sharing powerful messages focused on mental health.

Girvan FC, the club Robbie attended, wrote a statement to their fans, saying: "In respect of Robbie, both the Girvan Development team and First Team games this weekend have been cancelled."

"Also, all Development and First team matches across the West of Scotland Leagues this weekend will hold a one-minute silence in memory of Robbie," it continued.

Auchinleck Talbot, the club Robbie had previously played for, issued a call for those struggling with mental illness to "never be afraid to reach out", before adding that they would also hold a minute's silence before their games this weekend.

Robbie's obituary stated: "Robbie Meiklem's death has cast a solemn shadow over Ayrshire, silencing the promising beats of a football journey cut short."

The moving obituary concluded: "On social media, friends and teammates share memories, painting a vivid portrait of Robbie's 'unbelievable' abilities on the field and the profound void left by a player cherished and missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him."