Macari meets the '3 Dads Walking' at Old Trafford

Thursday 14 October 2021 16:15

Three fathers who have all tragically lost their daughters were greeted by Manchester United legend Lou Macari at Old Trafford on Thursday morning, as part of their heroic and emotional walk to raise funds for charity.

Mike Palmer, from Manchester, lost his 17-year-old daughter Beth to suicide at the beginning of lockdown in 2020 and he then met two other dads who had suffered the same devastating experience - Tim Owen from Norfolk and Andy Airey from Morland in Cumbria. Tim's daughter Emily passed away just days before Beth did and Andy's daughter Sophie died three years ago.

The trio of bereaved fathers began discussing how they could prevent other families from going through the same heartbreak and decided to walk from each of their homes, for the suicide prevention charity Papyrus. ‘3 Dads Walking’ was formed and they have currently raised over £282,000.

But it's not really about the money: the fathers desperately want to raise awareness of the work the charity does so that these tragic losses of life can be prevented in the future.

“It is the biggest killer of under-35s and over 200 schoolchildren a year die from suicide,” Mike told us. “We are dads, we are just three dads, and the thought of other families going through suicide, losing their loved ones, is too much. We believe a lot of young suicides can be prevented.”
We encourage all of our fans to watch this video about the emotional charity campaign.
Macari met the three dads when they arrived at Old Trafford and the beloved club legend is a huge supporter of their charity campaign, having tragically lost his own son Jonathan to suicide in 1999. 

“Well, to get up and do what they are doing to start with is wonderful,” Lou told us in a powerful interview. “Time is not a great healer as people keep telling you. They lost their daughters just recently, I believe, and to get up and try to bounce back is incredible.

“Talking about it is probably the most important thing. I have done a video recently for the police and I had to stand in front of the camera to say that anybody with any problems should go and seek some help. I was just hoping that would register with people and they will seek help. This is what the three dads are doing. They have lost their daughters, but they probably might not have lost them had their daughters looked for a little bit of help, a little bit of advice. 
“The same applied to my son. You kick yourself for not spotting the problem and they say they didn't see any signs that told them they had to sit down with their daughters and convince them not to do anything stupid. I was the same with my lad. I never got any signs. Of course, when it happens you are kicking yourself and thinking, 'why didn't I see this or that' but by then it is too late. 

“And then you have just got to get on with your life in the best way possible. For all three of them it will be different. Today they are walking together, they are together, they are part of one another, but when they go their own way they will deal with their loss in their own way.”
Macari’s appearance and support was not lost on Mike, from Manchester, who was full of appreciation.

“Meeting Lou is an absolute honour and we know how brave he is to come out here, stand in front of a camera and raise awareness. We have met so many parents along the way that have been bereaved and Lou is one of them. It is incredibly brave. There is a stigma attached to suicide: pre suicide and post suicide. If people talk more then I think we can prevent a lot of deaths.”

Visit to donate and learn more about their story.