Last respects paid to Sunderland businessman and former Durham cricket director Matty Roseberry

The funeral of businessman and former Durham County Cricket Club director Matty Roseberry has been held at a packed Sunderland Minster.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 5:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:06 pm
Matty Roseberry

Matty, who passed away on February 6, aged 75, was huge supporter of Sunderland AFC. His coffin was carried in to the accompaniment of Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights, which is played as the teams walk on to the pitch at the Stadium of Light.

There was also a moving rendition of SAFC anthem Can’t Help Falling in Love, sung by granddaughter Jordan.

And played at the end of the service was a favourite song, Putting on the Style by Lonnie Donnegan.

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The great-grandfather also leaves behind his wife Jean and his three children, former county cricketers Michael and Andrew, and daughter Joanne.

A tribute written by Joanne was read while Michael read out a poem written in honour of his father called He is Gone, in which Michael urged people to remember his father with a smile.

Readings were also given by Matty’s other granddaughters, Lauren and Emily.

Well known figures among the North East media, BBC presenter Jeff Brown and former Tyne Tees sports reporter Roger Tames were among mourners.

Matty started out as a bricklayer, but went on to own a business empire, becoming owner of the Rainton Meadows Arena and various working mens’ clubs and pubs. The first was the Golden Lion in South Hylton.

He was also a noted charity worker. One of the causes he backed was Grace House, in Southwick, which supports disabled children and their families. He supported the late Tyne Tees broadcaster Kathy Secker’s campaign to build it by hosting fundraisers at Rainton.

But many will remember him best as a driving force in establishing Durham as a first class cricket county when he joined the board in 1992. In 1996 he met the Queen when she officially opened the club’s Riverside Ground.

Also paying tribute was old friend Barry Emmerson, who remembered when England clinched the Ashes by beating Australia in the fourth test at the Riverside in August 2013, before 20,000 delighted fans.

He told mourners: “That was the legacy that Matty Roseberry created.”