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Family's tribute to 'wonderful' father as they honour his last wish

PUBLISHED: 16:38 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:38 09 December 2019

Matthew Clark was a keen sailor and a long time member of the Aldeburgh Yacht Club. Picture: FRED CLARK

Matthew Clark was a keen sailor and a long time member of the Aldeburgh Yacht Club. Picture: FRED CLARK

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a "wonderful" father-of-three from Suffolk as his family honoured his last wishes at a Christmas-themed market.

Matthew Clark raised money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) many times, here he is in 2008 in front of the pyramids on a charity cycle from Cairo to Jerusalem via Mount Sinai. Picture: JANE CLARKMatthew Clark raised money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) many times, here he is in 2008 in front of the pyramids on a charity cycle from Cairo to Jerusalem via Mount Sinai. Picture: JANE CLARK

Matthew Clark, from Aldeburgh, was just 58 when he died on December 1 - following a recent accident which left him unwell.

Now his family, which includes wife Jane and sons Fred, George and Ed, have paid tribute to him after helping to hand out hats he had bought to give out at the town's Victorian market this weekend.

Son Fred, who is 29 and works as a solicitor, said: "He was quite the adventurer really, he did huge charity bike rides and had an amazing life."

Described by his son as "wonderful", he had raised money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) for many years, taking on charity bike rides alongside other work.

Matthew Clark bought the Christmas hats before his death last Sunday, with the intention of giving them to children at the Aldeburgh market on Saturday December 7. Picture: JULIE TOWNSENDMatthew Clark bought the Christmas hats before his death last Sunday, with the intention of giving them to children at the Aldeburgh market on Saturday December 7. Picture: JULIE TOWNSEND

His adventures took him around the world - from Cairo to Jerusalem, the length of Australia from Darwin to Sydney and even Shanghai to Singapore.

He died a week before he was due to celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary with wife Jane.

Fred, who said his father had wanted Aldeburgh's younger population to enjoy this weekend's festivities, added: "He bought all of the hats before he died and so we wanted to use them as he had wanted to.

"We're actually hoping that we'll make it an annual event now seeing as it was such a success.

Matthew bought the Christmas hats for charity before his death last Sunday on December 1. Picture: FRED CLARKMatthew bought the Christmas hats for charity before his death last Sunday on December 1. Picture: FRED CLARK

"The children loved them and it made us so happy to see that they were everywhere you looked in the sea of festivities over the weekend.

"It was wonderful and there was so much going on so we were really pleased we could do it for him."

The hats were on show at the St Peter and St Paul's Church, with more than 200 given away to eager children getting ready for the Christmas celebrations.

Matthew's wife, Jane, posted a tribute to him on social media after the event, adding: "He very much wanted to see the community's younger generation enjoy the day."

These children dressed up as the Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist for the Aldeburgh Christmas market where Matthew had planned to give out the hats. Picture: FRED CLARKThese children dressed up as the Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist for the Aldeburgh Christmas market where Matthew had planned to give out the hats. Picture: FRED CLARK

All of the money raised from the Christmas market was donated to the parish church. It was part of a day of festivities across Aldeburgh.

Matthew had lived in Aldeburgh and Essex throughout his life, splitting time between his farm in Halstead and his home in Suffolk.

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