Matt King OBE: Inspirational team member passes away aged 33

24 Feb 2021

Matt King OBE: Inspirational team member passes away aged 33

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Matt King OBE, inspirational team member and Williams’ Legal Counsel, sadly passed away yesterday (23rd February) following a prolonged stay in hospital.

Matt was a talented rugby player as a youngster but suffered a serious spinal injury playing for London Broncos Academy as a 17-year-old. The injury left him paralysed from the neck down. His injury led to the creation of the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and Matt, never one to let hardship stop him from achieving his goals, went on to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the charity and other organisations including the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA). This included organising a series of events and activities, including taking part in the 2007 New York Marathon, and for his efforts Matt was awarded an OBE in 2012 for services to charity.

Matt also became a successful mouth artist, gained a first-class honours law degree and shared his inspirational story as a speaker to businesses, education establishments, and sports team, and as a mentor to other spinal-cord injured individuals. His story was also told in his autobiography 04.04.04 which The Independent described as “the inspirational journey of a truly inspirational man.”

It was through Williams’ charity partner the SIA that Matt joined the team in April 2016, initially as part of a work experience programme. He quickly established himself as a key member of the legal team and became a permanent member of staff at Grove in October of the same year. Matt was very well-respected in his field and an absolute pleasure to work with. After being admitted to hospital last October, Matt sadly passed away yesterday morning. He was 33.

The thoughts of everyone at Williams go out to Matt’s family, particularly his wife Ilona and their two daughters, two-year-old Arabella and baby Georgia, who is just 11 months old.

As a mark of respect for Matt, all the flags flying at the factory have been lowered.