Latest news:

Matt's Match - Saving Lives Together

By Paul Connor (Connorman)
November 19 2009

Old Northamptonians rugby player and Northampton School for Boys student, Matthew Herbert was first diagnosed with leukaemia in December 2008. After a 5-month stay in hospital and gruelling course of chemotherapy, Matt's leukaemia went in remission.

Matthew Herbert
Matthew Herbert

Unfortunately, Matt's leukaemia has returned. This time, Matt's best chance to help him overcome the illness is a bone marrow transplant, combined with more chemotherapy.

Matt is a fantastic, vivacious, talented and caring young person, who is much loved and respected by his friends at school and at his rugby club, ONs. It is crucial to find a donor whose bone marrow is a suitable match to Matt's.

We're appealing to you and your friends and family to become a potential donor. Only a small saliva sample is needed, after completing a medical questionnaire  - it really couldn't be easier! Similarly, should you prove to be a suitable match, bone marrow donation is also straightforward. Here's an example:

Shortly after attending a Recruitment Clinic I discovered I was a potential match for patient with leukaemia. I donated my stem cells through PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell donation) which involved taking excess white blood cells from my blood whilst I was attached to a machine - and watching TV and drinking coffee. It was totally painless. The Anthony Nolan Trust arranged for me to say in a hotel the night before the donation and monitored my health in detail afterwards. It was as easy as giving blood but without the queuing! Four and a half years on, the recipient is still alive because of the stem cell donation. I have experienced how being a donor volunteer is literally the first step towards giving someone the gift of life"

- Gary Hammerlsey , Northampton

Leukaemia can affect any one of us and any time of life. The more potential donors the Anthony Nolan Trust has on its register, the better chance of finding a match for someone who needs a transplant.

Please consider giving up a little of your time to attend one of the clinics around town.

And the exciting news is that you can do this whilst watching Saints. Saturday 5th Dec at the Bath match, there will a Recruitment Clinic at Franklins Gardens in the Study Centre. Remember, it is so easy - just a small saliva sample.

To become a donor volunteer and join the Anthony Nolan Trust register, you must be:

-       aged between 18 and 40

-       in good health

-       weigh over 8 stone / 51kg

-       willing to commit to provide bone marrow donation to any patient worldwide who is a suitable match.

If you can't make this match, there are other clinics:

-       Old Northamptonians Association, Billing Road on Thursday        26th November at 5-30pm to 9-30pm

-       Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Saturday 5th December 9-00am to 1-00pm

Please take a look at  to see up to date information on Recruitment Clinics, to see pictures of Matt with Saints players and to send a message of support to Matt.

For further information: The Anthony Nolan Trust


Thanks for reading this. For those who choose to respond and go the clinic Saturday, we are truly indebted.




View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

Matt's Match - Saving Lives Together
Discussion started by (IP Logged), 19/11/2009 19:06
19/11/2009 19:06
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009:11:19:19:10:27 by St Marlowe.

Saint Tim
19/11/2009 19:11
A fabulous charity the Anthony Nolan trust. I am now however out of its target age range.

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin

Tetleys Block F E143

19/11/2009 19:19
I know, Tim. It's tough knowing one can't become a donor, but there's so many ways we can all help Matt. Getting family, friends, workmates to go to the Recruitment Clinics. This is not so much about money (although the clinics do cost money and we've been working hard at ONs on that front) but more about hitting that one in a whatever-it-is chance that someone out there can help Matt, or others in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Watch out for hundreds of those yellow beanies on Saturday. You'll have seen them in town and in pictures in the Chron.

We have to get the message out there.

Flinstone Saint
Flinstone Saint
19/11/2009 21:02
I saw a few wearing the yellow beanies at last week's game and wondered what they were - now I know.

Like Tim, I am outside the age range now but wish them all the very best in finding a match for Matt. His story has touched many of us in the last few weeks.

19/11/2009 22:37
I am also outside the age range...I so wish that I could give.

Bridesmaids no more.

St Francis
19/11/2009 22:42
The boy and I are both outside the age range (at opposite ends). However I shall encourage, order even, the 30 healthy young people in my team at work to go and spit (or whatever) for such a good cause.

Patrick Bishop Seymour
Patrick Bishop Seymour
19/11/2009 22:57
Some incorrect info here, the Clinics at the Saints are being held on Saturday 5th December (Bath GP) in the Study Centre and Monday 7th December (Wanderers v Leeds) in the Captains Bar, NOT this Saturday.
Howver there IS one on Saturday at the Cobblers, you don't need to have a ticket as access cna be ade from the car park

I'd encourage as many people as possible to do this. The more people get tested the more likely they are to find a match. I'm currently on both the Anthony Nolan register and the Blood Donors register and would be overjoyed to discover I was a match. Unfortunately (as it's happened in the past but when I was called for a 2nd test as a potential match,) I would have had a letter by now if I was a close match!

Is there anything better you could possibly do for a person? I doubt it! Get tested, you know it makes sense!!!

No alcohol for January. I'm a dryathlete in aid of cancer research.


20/11/2009 08:07
Yep, sorry, got a bit over eager.

Saturday 5th v Bath.

St Marlowe
20/11/2009 08:15
Amended now

David L

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

- Live wrong and preposterously

20/11/2009 08:24
Thanks Dave.

20/11/2009 08:52
Yep good cause, I worked with a chap at Aston Martins a few years ago (if Pagnells reading this he'll know who I mean) who was a match and was flown to the States (I think) to donate to a young girl.
Theres not many of us get a chance to save anothers life, well worth puting a few minutes aside for.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing