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Archived News from October 2008

26th October 2008 11:24

May I first take this opportunity to wish all of Matt's family and friends my deepest sympathy and my heart felt sorrow for their sad and untimely loss.

Many knew Matt quite well. I had the greatest of pleasure first getting to know him by the kind introduction of a certain, James Bradley. Nigel Pinnick to those in the know. Mansfield 103.2 was in its fledgling year and eager to touch base with Stags fans. Matt came bounding along like a child stumbling downstairs on an early Christmas morn, such was his enthusiasm and desire to bring to the world all that was good and bad about the amber and blue.

I was first asked to do co-commentary with him away at Swansea City. A 1-0 win for the Stags with a cheeky back-healer from Tony Lormor. From then on in, the man had me hooked.

Over the years, Matt, James Bradley, myself Danny Westwell and Stuart Eggleshaw would venture mile upon mile putting to right the worlds problems and decided just what was needed to turn Mansfield Town into the world's greatest football team, we never got the right answers of course, world poverty we could solve, or a stress relieving dash-board boob appliance we invented but getting the right mix for the success of the Stags, well we all fell well short.

Matt was a professional at all he did, a professional with a smile, a strange way of putting it I suppose. I remember his 'catch the pigeon' phone ranting's one evening when he found out that me and James had headed the wrong way to Peterborough and would never make kick off. His anger and threats gave way to the tune of wacky races on the air-waves as we speedily made London Road three minutes late for kick off.

His devotion to Mansfield Town could never be faulted. His love for football was boundless. He used to love to play a bit to, although he'll be the first to admit that he was not quite a Maradonna, more a Madonna but you could not help but scoop up his energy every time he pulled on a FTYBR FC shirt. Matt was introduced to the rest of the FTYBR FC team one cold windy day in Darlington and trooped onto the field of play dressed in amber and blue with matching Blue and amber hair. He played the game as he went through life with a big and encapsulating smile that captured others along with it.

When he eventually left the area, Matt would keep well in touch and when the team were anywhere near where he was, Matt would turn up with a genuine smile and a tatty boot bag willing to play some part in representing the name of Mansfield Town.

Matt's last appearance for FTYBR FC came in our 2-0 win away at Dagenham & Redbridge at the end of last season. Yes I knew of his illness but it never stopped him in anything. He gave his all, and I will admit caused a tear or two and he dismissed his problems with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders. “Yeah I'm not bad, where do you want me to play up front?”

Many people have said things about Matt, many kind words and many so meaningful that my tears flowed. I feel though Matt would not want us to feel downhearted, except about the Stags current position and would want us all to remember him for the cheeky smile and heartfelt desire to see the name of Mansfield Town carried with pride.

God place you in an amber shirt my good friend, and may he place you amongst all the footballing greats that now rest in his kingdom and you know something Matt, you keep telling them just how good the Stags are.

Rest in peace for you have a place in my heart for all eternity.

Steve Hartshorn.


Latest | October 2008