Melton: Family pay tribute to ‘remarkable’ son killed in wall collapse

THE devastated parents of a talented Suffolk teenager have spoken about the tragic loss of their “wonderful son”.

Matthew Skeet, of Orchard Close, Melton, near Woodbridge, died when a barn conversion he was working on collapsed on him and 57-year-old colleague Kevin Ruffles. The 19-year-old was employed as a ground worker when tragedy struck in Worlingworth near Framlingham on October 21.

His parents, who live in Woodbridge, said their son’s “bubbly personality would light up the room”.

They added: “Matthew will be sadly and dearly missed by his family and friends, he will leave a hole in our lives.

“He was a truly remarkable character and will never be forgotten. His infectious smile will live on through our most treasured memories. He will be in our hearts and thoughts forever more.”


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The former Melton Primary pupil was a skilful and fearless BMX rider and was a regular at Woodbridge Skate Park.

BMX blogger Myles Lewis, writing on the Ride.Ipswich website shortly after Matthew’s death, said he was “incredible on a bike”.

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His parents added: “Matthew did take a few tumbles but his determination to be the best did not put him off as he would get back on the bike and try out even more tricks.

“He was encouraging to all especially the younger boys at the park and was someone to look up to, they were in awe of his talent.”

Matthew, who attended Farlingaye High School and Otley College, was also keen on football, fishing and cars.

The Matty Skeet Memorial Cruise - a road convoy for people passionate about customised cars - will take place tomorrow. It will leave Zest car park at 7.30pm, heading for Southend-on-Sea.

His parents said his football career had included spells at Woodbridge Town, Kesgrave Kestrals, Framlingham Town and Ipswich Warriors.

They added: “Following the deeply devastating loss of our wonderful son Matthew we would like to thank family and friends for their comfort and support. We are overwhelmed by the floral cards, messages and wall posts on Facebook.”

Matthew’s family said all are welcome to his funeral service, which is being held at St Mary’s Church, Woodbridge, on Friday, November 26 at 12.30pm. There will be a private family burial afterwards, followed by refreshments for all at Woodbridge Community Hall from 1.30pm.

FAMILY STATEMENT IN FULL:

“Following the deeply devastating loss of our wonderful son, Matthew, we would like to thank family and friends for their comfort and support. We are overwhelmed by the floral cards, messages and wall posts on Facebook for our son Matthew who was tragically killed while working on a barn conversion in Worlingworth.

“Matthew James George Skeet would have been 20 years old on December 11. Within a year of him being born he was already sporting the family red hair. He attended Melton Primary School, where he made many friends, some of whom are still close today.

“It was at school where it was first recognised that he had a talent for so many sports, notably football. His football skills progressed with teams including Woodbridge Town, Kesgrave Kestrals, Framlingham Town and Ipswich Warriors. His favourite position was midfield.

“Matthew moved to Farlingaye High School where his popularity grew and was loved for his joking and cheeky ways. His football skills progressed and he earned many medals and trophies. His passion for football took a setback when he suffered a major double break to his leg at school while playing the game.

“During this time he took up fishing where he became a regular face at Melton lakes. Following his recovery from his injury he went on to enjoy riding his BMX. Matthew could often be found at numerous sites for BMX throughout the area and most recently at Woodbridge Skate Park where he became known as ‘The Fearless Rider’. Matthew did take a few tumbles but his determination to be the best did not put him off, getting back on the bike and trying out even more tricks. He was encouraging to all especially the younger boys at the park and someone to look up to. The younger ones were in awe of his talent.

“Matthew went to Otley College where he did a carpentry course and gained certificates. Following this he found work as a ground worker. Matthew enjoy his job and took pride in his work. He was recognised as hard-working, polite and conscientious.

“Once Matthew became 18 he could not wait to be among the nightclubs in Ipswich and Colchester with his many friends where he found a new passion for dancing. It was in these venues that his flirtatious ways, cheeky smile and immaculate appearance made him popular with the ladies. His bubbly personality would light up the room.

“Matthew recently passed his test and bought his first car, a blue Fiesta which he called ‘Snowy’. He would drive around the town and could often be found at the “D’s” in Ipswich, next to Cardinal Park.

“Matthew will be sadly and dearly missed by his family and friends. He will leave a hole in our lives. He was a truly remarkable character and will never be forgotten. His infectious smile will live on, through our most treasured memories. He will be in our hearts and thoughts forever more.

“His funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Church, Woodbridge, on November 26, at 12.30pm, where everyone is welcome, followed by a private family burial. Following the service refreshments will be available to all at the community hall in Woodbridge from 1.30pm. Friends are welcome to join the family in the evening, also at the community hall, where there will be a disco held in Matthew’s memory. All flower tributes to E.B. Buttons, Woodbridge.

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