Clydebank football star Jamie Darroch has opened up about his heartbreak of learning his dad died by suicide.

The defender shared his story as part of World Suicide Prevention Week with the aim of getting more men to check in on their friends and family.

Darroch recalled the harrowing night when his life changed forever shortly after a Friday night Bankies game.

He had played in a 1-0 Holm Park defeat to Beith on March 24 before returning home to partner Stacey, who was nine months pregnant with the couples first child at the time.

Later that evening, Jamie received a call from police saying they would be sending two officers to his door and it was then he was informed his father had died by taking his own life. 

Bravely telling all to Clydebank’s club media, Jamie said: “My dad was a 50-year-old man, very well respected in his work, sought after from all over the country for his work.

“Loved coming to watch us play football, loved our level of football, and anytime you speak to anybody, he was incredibly excited about being a grandad for the first time.

“I still don’t have the words to describe how I felt at that exact moment.

“Just a surreal time, a moment where you don’t actually believe what is happening.”

The centre-half – who won the Player of the Year award last year – spent the rest of the weekend breaking the news to family and formally identifying his dad.

But he explained it was a few days later when the devastating news truly hit him.

“After the three or four worst days of your life, I had a bit of a moment on the Tuesday,” Jamie continued.

“It was actually Jude’s due date and me and Stacey had a bit of downtime in the house.

“It was the first time the house was quiet, Scotland was playing Spain on the TV, and I remember, at that time, the sorest, worst, imaginable pain I could ever ever have felt.

“It only lasted about 10 minutes, but I was heartbroken, totally and utterly heartbroken.”

Before adding: “But after that, I woke up the next day and I had a moment of clarity, where I was like, I feel like the unluckiest person in the world now, but I know any minute I am going to be the luckiest person in the world.

“Which in due course, that’s what happened, nine days later, Jude was born and it was the best day in my life.”

Jamie hopes his story can encourage others to check in with friends and family and believes here, in the football-mad west of Scotland, there is already an established support network for young men, even if it is right in front of everybody’s noses.

He continued: “This changing room, this club, was just a massive massive part of getting me through it.”

Before finishing: “Football and my support network isn’t just mine, it’s our bubble in the west coast of Scotland.

“This mad wee bubble of full-time football, part-time football, Sunday league, Saturday morning amateur, whatever it is, everybody has got that element of a support network.

“Sometimes I think we put too much onus on the person who is struggling.

“It’s not in everybody's make-up to come out and tell people how they are feeling and lay it all out on the table so that they can go and get help.

“Some people need a push.

“I think to myself we are not using it well enough.

“We are so lucky that, three times a week, 10 months a year, 24/7 if you include WhatsApp, we’ve got access to each other.

“I get that it doesn’t come easy to some people asking somebody, ‘How are you mate?’ or ‘What’s happening?’

“But, trust me, however uncomfortable you may feel, it’s so much better than the alternative.

“The alternative is what it leaves behind, grief, a soulless heartbreak.”