HELENSBURGH FC has a new back-of-shirt sponsor for the upcoming season - and the club’s manager hopes it will help more sportspeople talk about their mental health.

The amateur club’s jerseys will feature the Males Tales logo under the rear neckline after the founder of the group, John Lewis, contacted the club to try to raise awareness of the initiative.

Manager Sam Gemmell said the move was a no-brainer.

He told the Advertiser: “When John approached me I thought it was a great idea. I didn’t even need to ask anybody else in the club, I just decided we would go for it.

“In amateur football mental health is less of an issue because we only see the boys twice a week but when you see the guys in professional sport who are there every day, they can bounce things off each other all the time.

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“The fact that there’s an avenue there for anybody is great, even our lads will know now.

“And not just the amateur team, we’ve got an under-19 team who are becoming young adults and they need to know that there is somewhere they can go and talk to somebody without anybody prying in.”

Launched last year, Males Tales offers support to men struggling with a range of mental health problems, and John is confident of a successful partnership with the amateur team.

He said: “I thought it was a great avenue to go down.

“First of all to try to get the name of Males Tales out there, but also because I know the club is a very well respected organisation in the local area.

“My daughter is in sixth year at school and half of her male mates play with the club, so that’s where I got the idea from.

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“It will give Males Tales a bit more publicity and bring awareness to the situation and the fact that we’re here.

“Using a sport that is a physical contact sport, and is known as being a bit of a hard man’s sport, with the team showing that emblem it shows that it is all right, if you’re a guy, to come out and speak about your emotions and your feelings and not hide away from things.

“You don’t need to keep that hard man image.”

Sam added: “At first I was a bit surprised because I didn’t know there was a group like that for lads in Helensburgh.

“It’s nice to be part of it and show that we’re involved in it.

“It’s good that there is something like Males Tales, because I know there’s been many times on a Saturday afternoon where I could’ve done with sitting talking to somebody after a game!

“We hope it’ll be the start of a long-term relationship.”

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