'Sunderland has truly lost one of its most well-known and much-loved characters' - Matty Roseberry tributes continue
Tributes have continued to pour in for businessman Matty Roseberry after his death at the age of 75.
“Sunderland has truly lost one of its most well-known and much-loved characters” is among the comments made about the late fundraiser and former Durham County Cricket Club director.
Mr Roseberry, who ran pubs and clubs and Rainton Meadows Arena after beginning his working life at Sunderland’s Wearmouth Colliery, died on Thursday after a short illness.
Among the causes he backed was Grace House, in Southwick, Sunderland, which supports disabled children and their families.
Mr Roseberry supported late Tyne Tees Television broadcaster Kathy Secker’s campaign to build the premises by hosting fundraising events at the arena.
He would also make donations in lieu of birthday presents.
The charity’s chair of trustees, Simon Briton, said: “Matty played a vital part helping take our founder’s vision and to turn it into reality, building Grace House as an amazing place for children with additional needs.
“Matty’s generosity and energy will always be reflected in what we do at Grace House.
“We are saddened by the news of Matty’s death but we feel privileged to have had such strong support from him and his family on our journey.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”
Karen Maclennan, former senior fundraiser at Grace House, said it was a “real honour” to have known “a true gentleman”.
She added: “I was lucky to be invited into his home and meet his family who he was so very proud of.
“Sunderland has truly lost one of its most well-known and much loved characters."
Jayne Secker, Kathy’s daughter, who is a Grace House patron and Sky News presenter, said: “Matty was a much loved figure around Grace House and did so much to raise awareness and money for the cause.
“I know mum was very fond of him.”
Mr Roseberry was an avid Sunderland football fan and invited 1973 FA Cup goalscorer Ian Porterfield to open the Golden Lion, in South Hylton, not long after.
Porterfield and team mates even brought one Rod Stewart along after meeting the singer at the 1-0 final win over Leeds.