Matt King

Matt King

Matt was a former Student at Stratton (Upper) School. With permission from his family, we have renamed our 6th Form in his honour. Matt sadly passed on on February 23 2021, but at Stratton, his legacy lives on.

On the pitch, he was a talented rugby player, but suffered a serious spinal injury playing for London Broncos Academy as a 17-year-old. The injury left him paralysed from the neck down. His injury led to the creation of the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and Matt, never one to let hardship stop him from achieving his goals, went on to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the charity and other organisations including the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA). This included organising a series of events and activities, including taking part in the 2007 New York Marathon, and for his efforts Matt was awarded an OBE in 2012 for services to charity and during the same year, he helped to carry the Olympic torch through Dunstable. 

Matt also became a successful mouth artist, gained a first-class honours law degree and shared his inspirational story as a speaker to businesses, education establishments, and sports team, and as a mentor to other spinal-cord injured individuals.

Then Principal of Stratton (Upper ) School Roz Hodges, said in an interview to The Biggleswade Chronicle* “We are all very saddened by the news of the tragic loss of such a resilient, inspiring and passionate young man. At school Matt was a very committed student, who was particularly dedicated to sport and working out at lunchtimes in the school gym. Matt was well liked by everyone in the school community; respectful, polite and a real gentleman. The tenacity and sheer grit he showed when returning after his injury, to complete his A-levels and then go on to obtain his degree in law, was truly humbling and an inspiration to staff and students alike.

Matt returned to Stratton in January 2017 as our guest speaker for the annual Senior Awards Evening. Matt’s speech was such an inspiration to our young prize winners and they were keen to meet him in person for a chat after the ceremony.

It was a touching occasion for staff who worked with Matt while he was a student at Stratton and they were delighted to hear of his successes and the life he was building with his wife Ilona and their plans to start a family. Matt has left behind a phenomenal and lasting legacy, and we hope our current and future students will continue to be influenced by his amazing story. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time and our hearts go out to them.”

*Tributes paid to Langford sporting and charity hero Matt King OBE (

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