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Hero rugby star opens new £1 million rehab centre

Heroic former rugby star Matt Hampson is thrilled after opening his cutting edge £1 million rehabilitation centre at a glittering ceremony.

The ex-Leicester Tigers prop dislocated his neck and severed his spinal cord in a horrific injury training with the England Under-21 squad in March 2005.

Big-hearted Matt, 33, has now opened his state-of-the-art rehab complex in Burrough on the Hill for people seriously injured playing sport.

He was joined by former Tigers and England rugby players Graham Rowntree, George Chuter, Louis Deacon and Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold as they declared the exciting new venue open.

And the sports-mad Rutlander saluted his army of friends and supporters who have helped to raise the cash to make his dream come true.

“The Foundation relies on the generous support of so many people.

“We could not have reached this stage without the hard work and generosity of our project partners.

“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to those who have contributed to the build, whether it is materials and supplies or simply their time and expertise,” said Matt.

“The support we have received from these businesses has been absolutely invaluable and has allowed us to make our dream a reality.

“We simply wouldn’t be here without them.

“We thank our project partners for making this dream come true.

“This place is so special and really is changing people’s lives.”

The Matt Hampson Foundation’s Get Busy Living Centre has turned an old aircraft hangar into a space age treatment facility for sporting injury victims.

Some 70 businesses, many of them local, actually helped to build the centre.

Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold, whose company Corporate Architecture designed it, said: “It has certainly been a very interesting and touching project to be involved in, particularity as I have a proud history in rugby myself.

“We’ve transformed this iconic building into a sustainable site for decades to come and it has been a privilege to be part of the build.

“It is a success all around.

“I’ve loved being a part of it and look forward to seeing it in use.”

Nick Heath, director of operations for the Midlands region at Willmott Dixon, the primary contractor for the Get Busy Living Centre, said: “This has been an extraordinary project for us to work on.

“It’s an outstanding example of collaborative working across both our supply chain and beyond to deliver a project that will almost certainly change the lives of those using the facility.”

He added: “I know every person within the firm that has met Matt has been completely humbled by his energy, eternal optimism and unwavering determination to help others.

“The centre has been his dream for a long time and now, we are very pleased to say, his reality.”

The centre will look after injured athletes as they undergo vital rehab and their families.

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