Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Matt Murdoch

I walked into Lockerbie Ice Rink just before Christmas as we stopped off on our way North - the Junior weekend competition was coming to its climax and I knew that the English girls would be playing their semi-final and I had persuaded my family that we would get a good lunch at the rink - Marion would see us right.

Sure enough there she was in the canteen, not on duty for a change, but having a cuppa with Matt, both of them enjoying watching the new generation of curlers on the ice before them.We passed the time of day with them and they told me they would be going off to Sochi - but I said I would probably see Matt before then at the 4 Nations as he was a great supporter of that weekend and sure enough four weeks later at Hamilton there he was, playing down the rink for a change, and only just missing out on winning another gold medal as part of Scotland's highest up rink in the match against England. He won 4 of those over the years and was determined that he would match the 5 of England's Michael Sutherland one year - I probably said something like - 'there's always next year' - except there isn't now.

He won one of those gold medals by beating me and altogether we played against each other 5 times in the 4 Nations and he had the edge on me by 3-2. Apart from the scores that is about all I can remember about the games - but Matt would have been able to tell you chapter and verse about this end or that end. Ever gregarious Matt would chat away on the ice and by the time you realised that he was distracting you, you were beaten - it wasn't deliberate - just all part of his friendly character.

My last view of Matt was on the TV from Sochi, celebrating his son's silver medal and beaming from ear to ear with pride at David's achievement but I will always remember so much more about him, on and off the ice.

Rest in peace, Matt - you have left a fine legacy in your family and in the curling scene in Lockerbie - they will not forget you and neither will I.

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