The heartbroken mum of a teenager killed in a car smash has issued an emotional appeal to Paisley musician Paolo Nutini to pay tribute to her son.
Ryan Bell was just 15 when he tragically died after the car he was travelling in crashed into a wall in 2011.
After struggling with his death for years, his devoted mum Andrea Anderson decided to hold a memorial night on what would have been his birthday next month to raise money for Men Matter and Women Matter.
Both organisations support people living with depression and also people dealing with grief.
But due to the current pandemic, the event had to be cancelled, prompting Andrea, 42, to think of another special way to honour her son.
She decided to reach out to Paolo Nutini in the hope he would send a message wishing Ryan happy birthday in his memory. The teenager was such a big fan of Paolo, he even wanted to copy the singer’s tattoo.
Ryan was one of Paolo Nutini’s biggest fans
(Image: Renfrewshire Council)
Paolo’s song These Streets was played at Ryan’s funeral as Andrea said it was his favourite song and one he would sing all the time.
Andrea told the Paisley Express: “It would mean the world to me if we could get a message from Paolo Nutini.
“Ryan absolutely loved him and was always singing his songs, especially These
“He had even convinced me to let him get the same tattoo as Paolo.
“I ended up getting a tattoo like Paolo’s with Ryan’s name on it after he died.
“It took me a long time to be in a strong enough place to do anything for Ryan’s birthday, but this year I felt it would be good to have a fundraiser in his memory.
“Unfortunately it had to be cancelled.
“I was just gutted as I wanted to do something special to mark his birthday.
“I know it is a long shot but it would just be the most amazing thing if he would do it for us.”
Andrea, who lives in Drumchapel with her three sons, twins Jamie and Shaun, 21, and Liam 17 – says she has been left overwhelmed by the response from the Paisley community.
Her appeal on social media has been shared more than a thousand times, with thoughtful Buddies reaching out to see if they can help make her dream a reality.
Andrea added: “I still cannot believe how kind the people of Paisley have been.
“I have had so many messages from people offering to help make this happen.
“So many people have got in touch to send me lovely messages. I know I am not from Paisley, but I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the lovely people who live there who got in touch with me.
“It means the world to me.”