Tributes to young Scots dad with ‘biggest smile’ who took own life after mental health battle

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a Scots dad with the ‘biggest smile’ after he took his own life following a long struggle with mental health.

Bradley Kitson tragically died in Galashiels on April 17.

The 23-year-old has been remembered by friends as a popular ‘joker’ and doting dad to his six-year-old daughter Esme.

Best pal Antonia Robertson told the Daily Record : “He had the biggest smile ever, he was so beautiful.

“He was a cheeky and free-spirited person. You would hear him before you seen him and within five minutes you’d be in hysterics from his jokes.

Antonia (right) had been best friends with Bradley for years

“It’s like he was there to put a smile on everyone’s face. It sounds cliche but it shows you never know what someone is hiding behind a smile.”

Antonia said the dad-of-one had been brought up in care and had struggled with mental health issues for years.

The pair had been friends for six years and the sudden loss has left Antonia and Bradley’s loved ones devastated.

She said: “I was like his mum. I work in mental health as a support worker so could relate to him a lot and talk openly with him.

“He absolutely doted on his daughter and I think she’s the reason he kept going.”

Antonia has launched a fundraiser for Bradley’s funeral, with funds also going towards supporting his daughter.

It was Bradley’s dream that he could provide a future for Esme that he never had.

Pals say Bradley had the ‘biggest smile’

Antonia explains: “He always wanted to have money for her to go to university.

“He was passionate about making sure she had what he didn’t growing up. I know how much he wanted to make sure that happened.”

Antonia hopes to raise awareness of men’s mental health struggles and to set up a charity football game in his memory.

“He loved football and Rangers, so I think we’re going to have annual charity games in his memory,” she continued.

“I just want to make sure he’s remembered.”

Thousands of pounds have been raised for the dad, whose funeral is set to take place next week, in just days.

Bradley with daughter Esme
Bradley with daughter Esme

One well-wisher wrote: “Gone too young wish I got to know you more.”

Another said: “Such a respectful young man.”

Former boss Jamie Simpson said: “As some might be aware last Sunday we lost a very special person….. Bradley worked for me cleaning windows in Lauder for a number of years.

“He was the young lad with the ‘big smile’ as often was remarked on that also often pulled him trouble he was about to get in.

“He never had a family of his own but very close friends who have started a fundraiser to pay for funeral costs and any surplus will be put into a trust for his daughter when see turns 18.

“If anyone can find it in the hearts to donate however little they’d be much appreciated.”

You can donate to Bradley’s fundraiser here.

If you need to talk, you can call Samaritans for free of charge, any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

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