Former London Academy Player Awarded OBE
The former London Broncos academy player, left paralysed in a Rugby accident, has been awarded an OBE in the Queens birthday honours, for his charity work. Matt cannot breath independently and is paralysed from the neck down, since suffering the injury in 2004.
Despite these troubles Matt has not let his disability prevent him from living his life. With financial assistance from the RFL benevolent fund, Matt completed a Law degree and is now a trainee solicitor. In addition, Matt has also painted charity Christmas cards, using only a paintbrush in his mouth, which raised large amounts of money for charity. As well as the award of an OBE, Matt also has the honour of being an Olympic torch-bearer on 9th July.
Matt said: "It is such a great honour for me to receive this OBE, and I am deeply humbled to have even been considered. I would like to thank my family and all those who have assisted me since my accident, particularly from the Rugby League community. The support I have received has made coming to terms with my injury, and my new life, a great deal easier, and for that I will always be thankful.
"I feel proud and privileged to be able to give something back to those who can gain from my experiences, and I fully intend to continue as a fund-raiser for the RFL Benevolent Fund, an ambassador for the Variety Club of Great Britain and an advocate for spinal injury charities. I hope this honour can provide extra publicity and profile to those who work so hard on behalf of people with serious spinal injuries."
The RFL chief executive, Nigel Wood has also paid tribute to Matt: "On behalf of the RFL and indeed the whole Rugby League family, I would like to congratulate Matt on this fantastic award.
Matt's selfless attitude and sheer commitment to everything he does sets an example to the rest of us and I can't think of anyone who deserves this recognition more than he does."
Photo credit: SWpix.com
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