King raises money for Benevolent Fund
Former Rugby League player Matthew King who was paralysed from the neck down playing for London Broncos Academy in 2004 has painted a Christmas card using just a mouth stick to raise money for other injured players.
Proceeds from the sale of the 3,000 Christmas cards which cost £1 each will go to the RFL Benevolent Fund which aims to support Rugby League players whose lives are affected by serious injuries sustained while playing the game.
Matthew King said: “I broke my neck playing Rugby League in 2004 at the age of 17, and have been left completely paralysed from the neck down.
“Since my accident the RFL Benevolent Fund has provided a tremendous amount of financial support which has enabled me to return to university and study for a law degree, and build a career for myself.
“I painted this Christmas card with my mouth via the use of a mouth stick, and the proceeds from its sale will directly benefit those players unfortunate enough to have sustained a life changing injury playing the game we love.”
Following the tragic injury, which occurred during a match against Halifax, Matthew was airlifted from the pitch and spent a month in intensive care before spending the next eight months rehabilitating at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
In September 2005 he was well enough to return to study full-time and on completion of his A-levels achieved ‘A’ grades in all the subjects he studied.
Based on the strength of his grades Matthew was accepted by the University of Hertfordshire to study for a law degree, the RFL Benevolent Fund helped to fund his study and he graduated last year with First Class Honors.
Matthew has been offered a training contract with Stewarts Law in London to complete his training as a solicitor on conclusion of the Masters course which he is currently working towards.
Matthew King said: “Stewarts Law are recognised nationally as being the leading niche law firm specialising in catastrophic personal injury, particularly spinal and brain injury, and I’m really pleased to be part of a law firm which helps make real positive differences to people’s lives.
“I hope that my personal experiences to date will enable me to empathise with, and understand the situations faced by persons who have suffered life changing injuries and this will hopefully improve the quality of service I can provide them with.
“Looking back on the previous six years, although my life has changed unrecognisably and my future goals and aspirations have had to be tailored somewhat, I am proud that I have put myself in a position to continue to build a meaningful life for myself.
“As alluded to earlier, I owe so much to the Rugby League Benevolent Fund who without which I would not be where I am today.
“I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the whole Rugby League community who really rallied around after my accident in 2004 and provided not only myself, but also my family with the love and support which has enabled us to fight our way through our ordeal and come out the other end.”
To order one of the limited edition Christmas cards which cost £1.00 each please contact Tina Ward at the RFL via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order or alternatively write an enclosed cheque to the RFL Benevolent Fund c/o Tina Ward, RFL Headquarters, Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds, LS17 8NB.
For more information about the RFL Benevolent Fund and details on how to donate to this charity please visit www.rflbenevolentfund.co.uk