The daughter of Scots football legend Iain Ferguson has told how she faced a teenage bullying hell – but is now trying to help victims.

Kelsey Ferguson wants more help made available in schools and workplaces for people being picked on over social media.

Former Rangers, Dundee United and Hearts star Iain’s daughter has also called for victims of online abuse to speak out following the death of Love Island presenter Caroline Flack on Saturday.

Kelsey was 15 when a relentless bullying campaign against her kicked off.

Ian Ferguson played for a number of Scottish teams including Rangers, Dundee United and Hearts

The 30-year-old said: “When I heard yet another person had taken their own life after being abused online, I was absolutely heartbroken. This shouldn’t be happening.

“I’ve been in that situation; thinking nobody would miss me if I wasn’t here.”

Kelsey said the abuse started for her after she moved back to Lanarkshire from Spain with mum Gail and striker dad Iain, who also played for Dundee and Motherwell in a glittering football career.

She said: “When I started secondary school here, I was targeted by bullies who said
I was tall, skinny and ugly with big ears.

“I was dragged about by my hair, punched and even told I should die in a plane crash.

“I was left feeling scared and worthless for years.”

The situation was so bad Kelsey ended up in hospital after suffering chest pain because of the stress.

She said: “My mum and dad moved me to a new school but the bullying continued and they used Bebo, Facebook, emails and text to send me vicious messages.

“My parents tried to keep me away from the computer and phone but my sense of isolation grew and grew.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life and I rarely left the house.”

Kelsey said it took all her courage to enter the Miss Scotland competition in 2010 after her family urged her to send in a photo.

She made it through to the final 30 and life started to look up.

The mum of one recently gave a talk at her eight-year-old son Archie’s school in Glasgow’s West End about bullying.

She said: “I was extremely nervous but afterwards it felt so rewarding.

“Only 20 minutes in, a little boy felt he could openly tell me he has been getting bullied and then a little girl.

“I want kids to feel comfortable enough to tell someone.

“Encouraging children to engage on the matter is a step in the right direction.

“A stand has to be made now. Kids and adults are taking their own lives because of nasty people who need to grow up.

“I’m speaking out for everyone who’s ever been told they’re stupid, dumb, ugly, a freak or a weirdo.

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“I fear for my wee boy growing up, which is why I want to go into schools and workplaces and share my experiences to help people realise they can overcome anything.

“It took years of therapy to heal the torment for me.

“Trust me when I say it’s so much more rewarding being nice.”