Portadown man Matthew Crawford was a kind, caring man who always thought of others

Matthew James David Crawford was a kind, loving and caring young man who enjoyed socialising like most young men in their 20s.

Matthew Crawford from Portadown who was a huge Liverpool FC fan.
Matthew Crawford from Portadown who was a huge Liverpool FC fan.

Matthew died suddenly on February 18 this year, aged just 25 years old.

Matthew led a full and active life. His unassuming and generous personality endeared him to many and he has left an indelible and positive legacy.

Born in Craigavon Hospital on November 28, 1996 to parents Alistair and Kim Crawford, Matthew has two older siblings Kirsten and Jemma.

Matthew Crawford from Portadown who met former Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers while on a trip to a match.

The youngest in the family, Matthew lived his entire childhood at the family home in Portadown’s Selshion Parade until he went to university.

He first went to reception and P1 at The Cope Primary School in Loughgall and then to Hart Memorial PS in Portadown. He also attended Clounagh Junior High School and then to Portadown College.

Matthew studied politics at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent.

When he was at the Cope PS, he appeared on TV on the sofa talking to Frank Mitchell in School Around The Corner.

While at Hart PS he won the Clive Magee All Round Sporting Endeavour Cup. He also won the NI leg of a logo design competition for the Beijing Olympics.

He was the Top Boy in Third Year at Clounagh JHS and a prefect. He also won the ‘Normandy Cup for Excellence in History’.

Matthew played an active role in school life at Portadown College, studying hard and belonging to groups such as the Debating Society and the Warhammer Club.

Politics was a natural progression for Matthew at university. He was a Labour supporter and defender of human/minority rights. He was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.

Throughout his life he was a sportsman and played football, rugby and hockey. He also attended Portadown Youth FC.

His passion was Liverpool FC and he enjoyed watching Northern Ireland games.

He went to the Euros with his father Alistair. He met former Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers at an airport once and had his photo taken with him.

Brendan has been in touch with the family to pass on his condolences on the sudden death of Matthew.

And Liverpool FC sent a beautiful message which was read at Matthew’s funeral.

It said: “Please be assured of our deepest sympathies, our sincere condolences to your entire family and to your friends from everyone here at Liverpool Football Club.

“Nothing we can say will ease your pain but just to let you know that today and ever you will be in our thoughts and prayers. May you please know you’ll never walk alone.”

The message was signed by the management, manager Jurgen Klopp and players and staff of Liverpool FC.

He was also an ice hockey fan, supporting the Detroit Red Wings and Belfast Giants.

Matthew was a rugby fan too, supporting Ulster and Ireland.

Lately he played airsoft and regularly went to Blackers Mill with his cousins. He was very committed, owning all his own gear and guns.

Outside of sports he was an avid gamer and also enjoyed role play gaming weekends with his friends and cousins, nicknamed ‘The Saturday club’.

He loved family board games and quiz nights and hated to be beaten. He had also been an Anchor Boy with the Boys Brigade.

In the summers when a student he worked at Irwins Bakery. When he returned home after university he followed his father into Irwins as a full time logistics co-ordinator.

He worked mostly with all the van drivers and he knew them all, from the local drivers to those from Belfast and Fermanagh.. He had spent his entire working life at Irwins and everyone was very upset when he died. The firm showed his funeral live streamed on a TV in the canteen for those who were unable to attend his funeral. Many work colleagues attended, including the directors and chief executive.

The family are very grateful to the staff at the bakery for their kindness and support over recent weeks

Matthew enjoyed a night out with friends, and he had a large group of friends in England as well as NI who have been in touch with the family since Matthew passed away.

He loved to travel and had been to Phuket in Thailand, Split in Croatia, Krakow in Poland, Chicago in the USA, Shiling in Austria, many trips to Spain and Paris for the Euros.

He had also planned holiday to Rome and to Japan 2023.

Matthew also adored music, particularly Linkin Park and David Ford.

Like many he suffered from poor mental health and had done so for many years. Matthew’s family would like to specially thank the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for their support during his younger years.

Matthew was kind, thoughtful and well-mannered. He would always meet Mrs Porter, a lovely lady from round the corner, on his walk home from school and he would offer to carry her heavy grocery bags to her front door.

Matthew was an unassuming, polite, generous, caring, loving and conscientious young man.

His short life was packed full of adventure and he has left his family and friends with countless wonderful memories.

His family would like to thank all who sent cards, for their expressions of love and support and kind donations to CAHMS.

The family has asked that any donations go to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) via Milne Funeral Services.

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