A NORTH Glasgow community has come together to replace a memorial bench for a young man who drowned in the River Clyde - after the lasting tribute was trashed by heartless vandals.

The Evening Times revealed yesterday that popular Christopher Spiers was just 28 when he slipped at the banks of the River Clyde and drowned on January 29, 2016. He was discovered two days later on January 31 by George Parsonage of the Glasgow Humane Society.

Now his parents Margaret, 54, and Duncan, 52, tell for the first time of their heartache when vandals destroyed a memorial bench they built after his death.

Duncan, who is from the city’s Balornock, said: “When my son’s bench got vandalised, it just broke me

“How can somebody do that? It felt like another kick, how many more kicks can a person take in life after their son has died?”

The family explained they had been visiting Luss in Argyll and Bute to get away from the city. In the village, they stumbled across a church memorial garden and learned that they could plant a tree in Christopher’s memory.

The family then asked if they could build a memorial bench too and they did from scratch.

The bench sat in the church grounds for several months until vandals ripped it apart.

Margaret, who is also mum to Craig, 28, and Jason, 32, said: “We believe there was some youngsters who were drinking alcohol and went about smashing things up in the memorial garden.

“For some reason, they smashed up Christopher’s bench too and we don’t know how they managed it.”

Evening Times:

A community group in Milton called No1seems2care heard about the vandalism and set about organising a replacement memorial bench for the family.

Alex O’Kane, of No1seems2care, said: “I wanted to build a bench to help the family after I heard about what had happened.

“However, I didn’t have the materials and I had never built a bench before.

“But different people came together to help us build the bench.”

Those people include Terry Rooney and John McLean who helped with the building of the bench.

Alex said: “This is a testament to the fact that people do care.”

The Spiers family admit they are unsure over what to do next with regards to where to place the memorial bench. They are scared in case the same thing happens again.

Margaret said: “It would be nice to put the bench up in Luss again because it is lovely and it is a place Christopher liked.”

Duncan added: “But we are scared it is going to happen again.”

The family have the memorial bench in a garden at their home for the moment while they decide what they want to do.

They are, however, overwhelmed that a community, which they do not live in, worked hard to gift them with a replacement memorial bench.

Evening Times:

Duncan, who is a grandfather-of-four, said: “It is a nice memorial to have for our son and we are so blessed that people came together to build this bench for a family that are grieving. It is the thought behind it.

“I keep using the word humble because I feel humble towards the people who have done this for us as a family.

“It has given us respect back because we were angry with the bench getting smashed up, we were totally angry.”

He added: “In a way I don’t want the memorial bench back up in Luss.

“I want it outside the house so I can remember my son, so I can look at everyday knowing that my grandkids can come up, they can sit in it and play.

“It is a wonderful way for them to remember their uncle.

“I really can’t thank the people enough who have done this for us, we are not even living in the same community as them and they went out their way to help us.”

Duncan added that the gesture of a memorial bench is something his outgoing son, who was much-loved by his family and friends, would love.

He said: “Christopher would be like, ‘It is a bench... for me’.

“We are pleased because we know he is looking down on us and he is looking at the bench, and he would be happy.”

Evening Times:

Yesterday, the Spiers family revealed to The Evening Times for the first time how Christopher died by drowing in the River Clyde.

On the two year anniversary of his death, they are calling for more safety around the stretch of water which lies in the heart of Glasgow city centre.