Sister’s emotional pledge after brother’s death
He was a promising young footballer with a "heart of gold" and always loved helping others, but Bradley Yates struggled with his own issues in recent years.
The "cheeky" teenager, of Millicent, doted on his young nieces and nephews and was close with his brother and two sisters. He would do anything to make them happy.
Sadly, Bradley, 19, died by suicide just before 10.30pm on Sunday, after he was hit by a truck on the South Eastern Freeway at Murray Bridge, where he was spending time with family over the weekend.
He had been battling with mental health issues.
Now, his sister Tahlia Yates has vowed to not let her brother's death be in vain.
"I want to stand up and do something for men with mental health," she told The Advertiser.
"I just want to raise awareness for every man and woman - but especially men, because they just don't open up.
"They just think everyone is going to talk s..t about them."
Ms Yates, 24, who lives in Brisbane, visited her younger brother one month ago when he was taken to hospital after a self-harm incident. He was released a week later.
She said Bradley "would always do anything for anyone" and wanted to become a father one day, but he had been struggling with his own demons over the past few years.
Ms Yates plans to "be that one to step up and fight to share awareness for men with mental health issues".
"Ring your loved ones and the ones closest to you and open up," she said.
"You don't even have to ask for help - just talk."
Bradley's family established a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses. It has reached nearly $10,000 in donations.
Ms Yates said her brother's death shattered many in the South East community, where he was "really loved", especially at the Tantanoola Football Club.
"He was a gun on the field - he won a lot of trophies," Ms Yates said.
The club posted a tribute on their Facebook page, announcing players would be wearing black armbands to honour his life on the weekend.
Known by teammates as "Yatesy", the 19-year-old was previously runner-up in the club's Best & Fairest award and was the leading goal-kicker in both Junior and Senior Colts.
He represented the Mid South East at the Interleague level and played in the 2015 Senior Colts Premiership team before earning his spot in the senior squad.
"A popular figure among the players and will be sorely missed by those who knew him," the club said.
Ms Yates said Bradley took some time off from football to focus on his mental health, but the club was like a second family to him.
"One of his coaches would always come pick him up and take him for a ride, buy him a feed, talk to him and drop him off at home."
"They were like his other family."
Mates posted tributes on Facebook, with one friend saying: "(I) will miss the cheeky grin and bullet left-foot passes".
"This bloke is a great mate and even family to a lot of us … Fly high soldier," another friend said.
Ms Yates expressed heartfelt concern for the truck driver involved in the traumatic incident at Murray Bridge.
Originally published as Sister's emotional pledge after brother's death