Academy player death: Grieving parents of Matthew Raw describe his love for rugby

2009-06-22 00:00

“A BOY with a big love for rugby,” is how a grieving dad has described the untimely death of his 19-year-old son, a Midlands Rugby Academy player, who died in a car accident last Wednesday while on his way to check up on a knee injury.

“Matthew has been playing rugby since grade one. It was his life and he had a bright future,” said an emotional Raw.

He said Matthew was his only son and the youngest of three children. Describing their devastation, Raw said the “whole family was feeling it”.

Superintendent Zandra Wiid said it is alleged that Matthew, driving a Ford Bantam bakkie, was trying to overtake another vehicle when he collided with an Opel Corsa bakkie driven by Allison Mellors (45), a school teacher at Harding Secondary School. Both were killed instantly, as was Mellors’s 44-year-old domestic worker (whose full name was not known late yesterday).

Mellors’s two daughters, aged 11 and 12, who were travelling with her, are both in a Port Shepstone hospital in a serious condition.

Steve Botha, the academy’s manager, and Matthew’s coach in the Midlands under 20, described the death as a big loss for rugby.

Memorial services for Matthew will be held today at the Kokstad Junior School hall at 11.30 am and on Wednesday at the Full Gospel Open Door Church in Pietermaritzburg at 11 am. In place of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Midlands Rugby Academy Bursary Fund; Standard Bank Main Branch; Account number 052070131.

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