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Mental Mechanics football team set-up by Forres group in memory of friend

By Jonathan Clark

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A GROUP of friends from Forres are helping to smash mental health stigma through football.

After close friend Charlie Tull took his own life last year, Fin Anderson (24) decided to set up a football club that would also provide a safe-haven for men to talk about their emotions.

With the help of flatmate Jon Fraser (26), who is president at Napier University, and Josh MacPhee (23), the idea has grown and Mental Mechanics FC are on course to become a member of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA.

Fin Anderson (left) and Jon Fraser (right) set up Mental Mechanics FC after the passing of close friend Charlie Tull.
Fin Anderson (left) and Jon Fraser (right) set up Mental Mechanics FC after the passing of close friend Charlie Tull.

Fin said: “Myself and Jon had always talked about starting a football team in Edinburgh, where we live, but it never came to fruition.

“When Charlie died – I regretted the fact that he was never able to tell his friends how he was really feeling.

“I never knew the full extent of how he felt. I wanted to do something positive after, and create a place where people could feel open to talk about mental health.

Charlie Tull.
Charlie Tull.

“We put the two together and came up with Mental Mechanics.”

The idea has taken off with the kits and the badge designed and the club set to make their debut in August.

The Mental Mechanics FC badge.
The Mental Mechanics FC badge.

About 30 players have registered an interest in playing for the Edinburgh-based outfit – and they are still looking for more to join up.

Fin added: “We want about 40 or 50 who are interested in playing. It doesn’t matter about having an amazing squad, it’s more important to have a team who want to have fun, enjoy playing football and are open to speaking about mental illness.

“I’m not going to sit and say ‘right, now we have 10 minutes to speak about mental health’ but we want people, if they are not doing well, to be able to talk about their emotions.

“The committee members will help promote mental health awareness, but you don’t have to have a mental illness to play for us, you just have to be open to speaking about it.

“We will be playing in pink because it represents the colour of the brain and we want people to see us and think ‘why are they playing in pink?’

"We want it to draw attention to us so people can learn about our philosophy.”

The name Mental Mechanics links back to the club’s Forres roots – with a match at Mosset Park being a big aspiration.

A match at Mosset Park is a big aim for Mental Mechanics FC. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
A match at Mosset Park is a big aim for Mental Mechanics FC. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

“Forres Mechanics was the inspiration behind the name for sure, and we were trying to tie it in with mental health,” Fin explained.

“I was captain of Mechanics at under-17s and Josh was at under-19s. Charlie also played for Mechanics at under-14s.

“We would love to be able to play a game at Mosset Park. That would be a sort of dream for us – to be able to play a fundraiser against Forres Mechanics.”

Fin thanked everyone involved in the club's so far, from soon-to-be manager Gordon Blake to social secretary Kyle Brown, for the work they have done.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in playing for Mental Mechanics, you can get in touch via their Facebook page HERE.

Matches will take place on Saturdays at Harrison Park, Edinburgh, and there will be no fee to play – with Fin saying the club hope to become "self-sufficient" through fundraising.

At the moment, Mental Mechanics are raising £3000 ahead of their first league campaign. You can visit their JustGiving page HERE to donate.

The club needs to raise £800 for kits and equipment, £1700 to rent pitches and pay referees and £500 for administration costs. There will be fundraisers taking place post-coronavirus lockdown – with plans made for race nights, club nights and more.

More Forres news.

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