Evening with Matt Hampson at Greetham Community Centre to raise money for the Matt Hampson Foundation

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A COUPLE will host an event to raise money for the Matt Hampson Foundation after being inspired by the paralysed rugby player’s story.

Sue and Merv Bamber of Main Street, Greetham, will host An Evening With Matt Hampson at Greetham Community Centre tomorrow night.

They met him when their son Iain, 20, began working as one of his carers last year.

Mrs Bamber said: “Iain’s time with Matt was life-changing as he saw how a young man, not that much older than himself, could still live life to the full despite his disabilities.”

Matt, 27, of Cold Overton, was paralysed from the neck down in 2005 when a scrum collapsed on top of him as he trained with the England under 21 team. He breathes through a ventilator and needs a team of carers to look after him but founded the Matt Hampson Foundation to help other young people seriously injured through sport.

Mrs Bamber, who is Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland co-ordinator, said: “He is an inspirational person who has been a fantastic influence, not just on our son, but as a positive role model for all young people.”

She and Mr Bamber, a British Airways pilot, hope tomorrow’s event will raise £1,000.

Former Stamford School pupil Iain, who is now a management trainee for Adams Foods in Leek in Staffordshire, said he had struggled through a course at Stamford College and a short time in the Armed Forces but didn’t really know what he wanted to do.

He said: “I didn’t know what to expect. I knew of Matt and his background and I was a bit scared. In my eyes I was working for a legend.

“He is nothing like I expected. He’s laddish and his banter levels are incredible. It really surprised me.”

The pair soon became friends.

Iain said it was Matt’s passion for other people that eventually made him reassess what he was doing.

Matt has promised to find a way to sign copies of his book entitled Engage - The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson.

Tickets cost £10 each and include tapas and musical entertainment from singer songwriter Iain. Call Sue on 01572 812882 to book.