Team Matt was born in 2010, the year that our beloved son Matt Hadfield died. That was when we discovered CRY; when his school friends became the founder members of Team Matt and raised sponsorship for CRY by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in memory of their friend. Our team now is made up of those who loved Matt and want to keep his memory alive. Every year we meet up to do things in his name and share the memories that we treasure, while raising funds and raising a glass or two!
We are not in the big league like some of the awesome CRY fundraisers, but for each event that we do we turn to our amazing friends and family and ask for their support and their sponsorship with our efforts, and they never let us down. In 2020 it was no different – our supporters are truly wonderful – and Team Matt’s efforts were rewarded with the same generosity, even if the events this year were a little bit different!
First of all was the 2.6 Challenge on the 26th April – London Marathon Day. My very own ‘AtHomeHero’ Andy went out in his CRY cycling jersey and rode for 26 miles to mark the 2.6 Challenge and raise some money by way of donations to Matt’s memorial fund. He called it a practice ride for the London 100!
Then there was the garage and attic clear out which we did during Lock Down. All those items that we did not need or want any more were sold on GumTree and the funds went into the CRY pot! (We also badgered our friends and family, by email and on Social Media, to sign up to SMILE/Amazon because every little helps!)
On June 28th Team Matt should have done the Heart of London Bridge Walk together, swapping memories of the man we loved and lost. We would have zigzagged along the Thames, crossing the big city bridges, along with 1000 or so other CRY supporters. Instead we put on our CRY t-shirts and walked the same distance through the countryside close to home, zigzagging over the fields and crossing tiny bridges over muddy streams. It wasn’t as it should have been, but it really was a lovely walk with 6 great companions – though socially distanced of course! And some more donations went into Matt’s memorial fund.
On August 16th my wonderful husband Andy was registered to take part in his 7th Prudential London-Surrey Ride 100. He would have ridden through the traffic-free streets of London and the hills of Surrey, with 25,000 other cyclists. While I would have found locations along the 100 mile route to wave my CRY flag as our cyclists went past, cheering with the other CRY supporters and greeting our riders as they completed the challenge and collected their medals. But of course, it didn’t happen. So, Andy trained through this summer’s heatwave and then rode the 100 miles in the rain, through the countryside close to home, on his own! My hero. This time, we set up a sponsorship page with Virgin Money Giving and as always the generosity of colleagues and clients, friends and family, was quite overwhelming.
Matt would have been 40 in March 2020. We were all going to celebrate his life in a big way in a pub by the Thames, but it did not quite happen due to Lock Down. In February 2020 it was the 10th anniversary of Matt’s death, and in September 2020 it was 10years since the 1st Team Matt event was done in his memory. We had plans ……….. but they didn’t quite happen! Nonetheless, thanks to the living memories shared by Team Matt, and the generosity of all those who support us, we did ok. I think he would be proud.