RugbyPass has followed the incredible story of ex-professional rugby player Matt Hampson, who was paralysed from the neck down following a scrummaging accident while training with the England U21s in March 2005.
In the latest documentary in our Exceptional Stories series, we learn about the 35-year-old prop’s incredible journey since his devastating injury 15 years ago at Franklin’s Gardens.
Featuring contributions from a host of rugby legends such as Jonny Wilkinson and Jason Robinson, as well as actor James Corden, the compelling narrative culminates in a behind-the-scenes visit to the Matt Hampson Foundation’s Get Busy Living Centre in Melton Mowbray where the ex-Leicester Tigers front row now helps others who suffer life-changing injuries in sport.
“The question that comes to mind in this situation is why me, why me? And then actually why not me in this situation? It could have happened to anybody in that squad,” said Hampson, charting the inspiring journey from his life-changing 2005 injury to his current role at his centre in Leicestershire which was officially opened in 2018 by Mike Tindall.
“I’m not going to lie, I had some dark days. I cried myself to sleep a few nights and it was pretty tough, especially at 20 years old when I had my accident – all you really want to be is a professional rugby player and just play for Leicester Tigers.
— Matt Hampson (@Hambofoundation) April 13, 2020
“That was the dream and getting that taken away from you is a pretty cruel scenario, but I just thought to myself I need to crack on with life and make the best of it and actually embrace the situation in the privileged position that I found myself in with obviously being a professional rugby player, being fairly high profile as well. I was pretty fortunate in that aspect.”
Narrator and producer Jim Hamilton emerged from the famed Leicester Tigers academy around the same time as Hampson, whose story he was eager to tell in the documentary.
“It’s an exceptional story. Unbelievable bloke. A good friend of mine. Out of all the exceptional stories we have done at RugbyPass, the Matt Hampson one is especially close to my heart because I grew up with Hambo playing.
“From being there at the start in 2005, playing with Hambo in the lead-up to his injury, to actually seeing where he is now and his dream of building the Get Busy Living Centre and the number of people he has helped… that is probably what he doesn’t realise – the effect he has day-to-day on people that he probably doesn’t think would benefit from the things that he does or the things that he has done.”
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