A fundraising festival of golf is a father’s thank you for the NHS treatment his son received following a life-changing road accident.
Matt Sullivan was 18 in 2005 when his spinal cord was badly injured in the crash, leaving him with a high degree of paralysis and limited hand dexterity
He spent nine months in rehabilitation at the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, north of Liverpool.
Now 32, Matt is a successful wheelchair rugby player with Leicester Tigers WR – winners of the sport’s Super Series Division One in 2018 and 2019. He was also among players selected for the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby squad in the 2012 Paralympics in London.
He still visits Southport twice a year for continuing care and lives independently in his own specially-adapted apartment at Spinningfields in Manchester city centre.
As a thank you for the care Matt receives, dad John is using his year as captain at Bramall Park Golf Club, near Stockport, Cheshire, to fundraise for the spinal injuries centre.
John, speaking from the family home at nearby Hazel Grove, said: “Matt lives a very active life despite his physical disability – and that’s thanks to the care of the staff at Southport. Their support and his determination during his rehabilitation helped him find the strength of character to become the man he has.
“As this year’s club men’s captain, me and my family have the opportunity to say thank you to Southport and for the emotional and well-being aspect of care they gave us.”
Events are taking place throughout the year but the blue riband event will be the Captain’s Golf Day and Dinner, a four-ball amateur team competition, on 18 October at Bramall Park. The club is also celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
Entry is £300 per team which includes the competition, refreshments and the evening fundraising gala dinner. Entry is limited to members of recognised golf clubs with a handicap maximum of 28 for men and 36 for women. There are prizes for the top three placed teams plus individual hole prizes, a post golf dinner, raffle and charity auction.
The three-course dinner package is available to purchase individually or in tables at £50 per person. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow John @Cpt1894 on Twitter.
Donations can also be made through a dedicated Just Giving page.
Emily Hoban, manager of the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, said: “Suffering a spinal cord injury is a life-changing event but Matt’s story and achievements show it’s no bar to having a full, active and fulfilling life.
“We’re thrilled John has chosen us as his charity in Bramall Park’s 125th anniversary year. It’s fantastic recognition of the work our team of skilled professionals do. The funds raised will help us do even more for people like Matt who use the centre.”