Matt Hampson – England U21

Since his accident in 2005 during an England Under 21 rugby training session, Matt has battled hard to live as normal a life as possible. Paralysed from the neck down and breathing via the aid of a ventilator, Matt didn’t lament what he’d lost, but instead decided to focus on the things he could still do and get busy living. Matt established the Matt Hampson Foundation in 2011 to help others like him who have suffered similar catastrophic injuries through sport to receive the support they need to rebuild their lives.

As well as his Foundation duties which include, visiting, mentoring, providing advice and fundraising, Matt delivers inspirational talks to young people and businesses around the country. He is also an ambassador for both the RFU’s injured Players Fund and Restart (The Professional Rugby Association’s charity). Matt is also patron of Special Effect, a charity set up to help disabled children communicate through technology.

Matt’s book ‘Engage’ describes the circumstances surrounding his accident and subsequent rehabilitation. It received critical acclaim and won a sports book of the year award. Matt has also written columns for the Leicester Mercury, Rugby World Magazine and Sky News as well as featuring regularly on TV and in the written press.

Matt was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2021 New Year’s Honours for his incredible achievements.

If anyone epitomises the Foundation’s ethos of ‘Get Busy Living’ it is Matt Hampson.