Code13 Rugby League
15 June 2012
RFL pays tribute to Matt King OBE
The RFL has paid tribute to Matt King after the former London Broncos Academy player was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Matt is to receive his OBE for his charitable work and has received a personal tribute from RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood, who believes the award is richly deserved.
"On behalf of the RFL and indeed the whole Rugby League family, I would like to congratulate Matt on this fantastic award," said Wood.
"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."
Matt, who will carry the Olympic torch on its relay through Dunstable in Bedfordshire on July 9, said he was "humbled" by the news that he becomes Matt King OBE.
"It is such a great honour for me to receive this OBE, and I am deeply humbled to have even been considered," he said.
"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.
"Having returned to school following my accident to complete my A-levels, and going onto University to study for my degree, I am now in the fortunate position of working as a trainee solicitor in London, and this is certainly not something I thought possible during my time in hospital.
"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 fundraiser 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."
Matt was seriously injured playing for London Broncos Academy in 2004 when, two weeks after his 17th birthday he was left complete paralysed below the neck level and unable to breathe independently. Since then, the RFL Benevolent Fund has provided financial and practical assistance to Matt which has allowed him to gain a first class honours degree in law and a greater level of independence.
As a fund-raiser for the RFL Benevolent Fund, Matt has painted Christmas cards using just a mouth stick to raise money for the charity which supports players whose lives are affected by serious injuries sustained while playing Rugby League.