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Life Member award for Matt Hampson

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Matt Hampson has been awarded life membership of Leicester Tigers.

A prop who came through the Tigers Academy, Matt’s rugby career was ended by a serious neck injury during an England Under-21 training session in March 2005 and, although he is paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breath without the use of a ventilator, his courage, determination and positive attitude have become an inspiration.

Leicester Tigers chairman Peter Tom CBE said: “The Tigers board of directors unanimously supported the proposal to award life member status to Matt.

“He joins an illustrious few - John Allen, Jerry Day, Martin Johnson CBE, David Matthews, Tudor Thomas and Bob Beason – which reflects the fact it is a richly-deserved honour.

“In the face of personal adversity, Matt has shown tremendous courage and has been an inspiration to so many people around him, whether they are able-bodied or have suffered traumatic injuries and disabilities.

“We are very proud that Matt played for Leicester Tigers and went on to play for England Under-21s and, although his career was so tragically cut short, he will always be a part of this club.”

Matt Hampson is patron of Special Effect, which allows young people with disabilities to use leisure technology and computer games, and he is also the Rugby Players Association Benevolent Fund Ambassador, an RFU Injured Players Fund ambassador and an RFU Level One coach.

Matt said: “I consider it a great honour to become a Life Member at Leicester Tigers because it will always be a special club to me.

“Whenever I come down to Tigers, it feels like a second home. All of the supporters and everyone within the club have been fantastic and I cannot thank them enough.

“I’d like to thank the Board of directors for this honour and also thank everyone connected with Leicester Tigers for their continued support.”

Roy Jackson, a Tigers director and chairman of the Matt Hampson Trust fund-raising committee, added: “Matt has been an absolute credit to himself, his family and to rugby since his accident in 2005.

“He is always looking to get involved in initiatives which help others in a similar situation to his and he has been an inspiration to all of those around him who see such courage and determination in a young man who has come through a life-changing experience.”

For more details on the Matt Hampson Trust, see www.matthampson.co.uk