Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles responded to tragic fan’s tweet offering to talk and help seconds before he killed himself, inquest hears
- Martin Lorimer, 54, had tweeted: ‘Once a Geordie always a Geordie! Time to die’
- Jamaal Lascelles told Mr Lorimer to ‘stay strong’ when he read concerning tweet
- Newcastle United paid tribute to fan by displaying his name and image at a game
- Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org
The captain of Newcastle United offered to talk and help in response to a fan’s tweet sent seconds before he killed himself, an inquest heard.
Centre-back Jamaal Lascelles told Martin Lorimer, 54, to ‘stay strong’ and said he was free to talk to him when he read the concerning message on Twitter.
Mr Lorimer, a Newcastle-born care worker, had tweeted: ‘Once a Geordie always a Geordie! Time to die.’
The football club had also replied to the tweet, offering its help and a chance to talk.
An inquest was told how a mother rushed over to Mr Lorimer when she saw him on a bridge in Kent, shouting ‘please, no, stop’ before he fell onto the road below on December 7.
Martin Lorimer (pictured above), a Newcastle-born care worker and father, had tweeted: ‘Once a Geordie always a Geordie! Time to die’
Centre-back Jamaal Lascelles, above, had told Mr Lorimer, 54, to ‘stay strong’ and said he was free to talk to him when he read the concerning message on Twitter
The post-mortem report said he died from ‘catastrophic and non-survivable’ multiple severe injuries.
An inquest at County Hall in Maidstone heard how the woman had pulled over on the bridge when she spotted Mr Lorimer at around 4pm.
Coroner Alan Blunsdon added how Mr Lorimer then calmly looked at her but tragically fell.
The ambulance service and police were called and arrived within minutes, but the Gateshead-born father was pronounced dead at 5.40pm.
The court heard Mr Lorimer had a history of mental health issues and had previously made attempts to take his own life.
His first wife and mother of his child died by suicide in 2007.
Speaking about her ‘gentle giant’ brother Hayley Lorimer said: ‘Martin left me a note before he took his life, asking for forgiveness, but saying he just couldn’t bear the pain.
‘He said he was broken. I think he believed in that moment that it was the only way to get out of the very dark place he was in.’
Signs with the Samaritans number have been added to the bridge and Highways England confirmed works are under way to make it safer.
A spokesperson said: ‘Safety is our top priority and our thoughts and sympathies are with the Lorimer family.
Newcastle United paid tribute to the fan by displaying his name and picture (above) at a game. After hearing of Mr Lorimer’s death, the club tweeted: ‘We’re absolutely devastated’
‘We are currently working on designs to make changes to the bridge and we hope to have these in place next year.’
Following Mr Lorimer’s tweet thousands of people attempted to make contact with him to check on his welfare, including Newcastle United Football Club and its club captain.
The club later paid tribute to the fan by displaying his name and picture at a game.
After hearing of Mr Lorimer’s death, the club tweeted: ‘We’re absolutely devastated. If you’re reading this and are struggling, please reach out to somebody.
‘You are never alone. Rest in peace, Martin.’
The Newcastle United captain said: ‘Devastated to hear about Martin. I tried to reach out to him as many others did too.
‘It’s such a difficult time for many and it’s important that we all have each other’s backs.
‘It’s made me think about how I can use my position to help others.’
Hayley added: ‘We really appreciated the concern and care showed by members of the Newcastle team and supporters, that really meant a lot, and especially to see Martin’s face on the screen and the tribute to him, that was just amazing.’
Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org