Today marks the 1st Anniversary of the tragic loss of ex Academy Player, our friend and colleague Matthew Craig, aged just 22.
Matthew was diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2016 and bravely fought the illness with great courage and dignity. He regualrly visited the Club during treatment to keep up to date with players, management and staff and many visited Matthew often when he was unable to come to New Douglas Park
In Matthew’s latter years at Hamilton Academical FC he was one of our most highly esteemed Senior Coaches and is missed dearly.
Originally from East Kilbride, Matthew was a defender and had played for our Club from U11s through to U19s, in addition Matthew also represented Scotland playing in the U18s. An integral part of a great Youth Academy, led by George Cairns, coming through the various age groups together in a squad who formed great friendships too with Stephen Hendrie, Craig Watson, Ryan Finnie, Andy Ryan, Dominic Green, Stuart Urquhart, Alan Cairns, and Mikey Thomson. Darren Lyon was another who joined that group soon after, along with others like Aldin El Zubaidi and Eamon Brophy, James Martin, Greg Docherty and Scott McMann who were with Matt during his U17s and U18s years. Many of whom were able to join the Club last year on our final day to say goodbye and pay our respects to Matthew and his Mum Karen, Dad Gary, young brother David, Caitlin and all Matthew’s family and friends who gathered on 2 February 2018.
Matthew had to initially quit playing for the Club due to a stomach illness, however recovered well enough for a period to return to playing although soon switched thereafter to coaching and enrolled as Academy Coach. A hugely popular character with the kids he developed his role and maintained our successful weekly Community Coaching sessions and Camps and we have renamed our camps in Matthew’s name as a mark of respect and in honour..
Head of Academy and Community Trust Director , George Cairns says, “It’s still hard to believe Matthew is no longer with us. I knew Matt from his first day at Hamilton, he was part of a fantastic group of talent coming through the ranks with players such as Greg Docherty, Craig Watson, and Steven Hendrie, he was also one of my senior academy coaches. Matt’s legacy will always be remembered within this football club, a great person, who we all truly miss.”