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Matt Salmon Trophy

Notts and Stags to compete for trophy in memory of physio

28 September 2017

Notts County and Mansfield Town will cast aside their rivalry by uniting to remember former physiotherapist Matt Salmon in competing for a trophy named in his memory.

Matt tragically died in May after a long battle with cancer, aged just 25.

Earlier in his career, he enjoyed work experience in the medical department at Meadow Lane before spending three-and-a-half years with the Stags as academy physio up until his untimely death.

The Matt Salmon Trophy, kindly sponsored by the Nottingham Post, will be competed for this Saturday when the two teams meet at One Call Stadium in a hotly-anticipated Sky Bet League Two contest (1pm), as well as the reverse fixture at Meadow Lane next March.

Matt's wife and family have been invited to the match as special guests to mark the occasion.

Notts chairman Alan Hardy said: "This was the very least we could do for Matt.

"We were all devastated to learn of his passing - it was incredibly sad. I knew he was poorly, but had no idea of the level of his condition.

"He was only at Meadow Lane for a short while but his reputation lives on. He had a wonderful time with us and learned a lot under Johnny Wilson and the rest of the medical staff. They still speak highly of him today.

"We're both East Midlands rivals at heart but ultimately we're all football people within our region and in that sense we're on the same side."

Mansfield Town chief executive Carolyn Radford added: "Matt was an incredible person, the type to do anything for anyone. He brought so much to his role at Mansfield Town. He was completely indulged in his work and loved his role at the club.

"It's fitting that we remember Matt in such a way and we thank Alan and everyone at Meadow Lane who have shown real integrity and warm spirits in the organisation of this trophy."

Matt's father Andy believes his son would have been humbled by the gesture.

"We are so very proud that this fixture has been named in Matt's memory," he said.

"The response from his colleagues, friends and fans at Mansfield Town, Notts County and the entire football family immediately after his death provided us all with enormous support. For that we are very grateful.

"To dedicate this match to Matt shows how both clubs really care for their wider club families and community.

"While Matt was at university he worked with Notts' youth teams, providing first aid and matchday pitchside care.

"After graduating he became the senior academy physiotherapist at Mansfield, where he was responsible for the day-to-day care of all academy players based at Brooksby Melton College.

"For both clubs to play for a trophy in his name would bring a wry smile to his face, although he would try and hide it behind his professionalism and focus on caring for the players.

"For two months at the end of 2014 Matt was the acting head physio for Mansfield's first team and we were very proud to watch him at his first game at the One Call Stadium against Cheltenham.

"To return to the club for this fixture will be very emotional and we wish both clubs good luck - but I hope you will forgive us a little bias towards the Stags!"

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