Memorial Service for Matt Tomlinson

It’s with great sadness that we have to say goodbye to Matt Tomlinson, who tragically died in a car accident before Christmas. Matt was a player, a team-mate and above all a friend to so many people in the Ultimate community. His outgoing personality, passion and enthusiasm left an impression on so many people’s lives, particularly in the Scottish Ultimate scene where he contributed massively as a player, as a coach and as a boisterous driving force. His positivity, friendly attitude and relentless willingness have made the past seasons incredibly enjoyable and we are privileged and honoured to have shared it with him. Our thoughts are with his family and those close to him through this difficult time.

Matt picked up Ultimate at Stirling University where he made an immediate impact as a plucky beginner with his self confidence and competitive spirit. He had a big personality and helped to propel the club forward through subsequent years, taking over as captain and spurring the first team towards Nationals. Stirling always held a special place in Matt’s heart, for the life-long connections he made and the team-mates he continued to play with after graduation. He took an active role in giving back to the club by returning as a coach and helping new players to get involved with club level Ultimate, often taking charge of Stirling based teams for local leagues to help foster their talent. He will be remembered as a legend of the club forever.

Matt really caught the bug when he started playing regular club Ultimate for Glasgow, having previously picked up for a number of Scottish teams. In 2016 he made an active decision to try to reach his playing potential and threw himself wholeheartedly into training and improving his conditioning. He quickly moved from our second team to playing at Euro’s and winning our MIP prize for the season. The way he applied himself inspired everyone around him and his positive energy brought us together as a team. The speed at which he transformed himself into an elite player was remarkable and if anyone needs a role model for dedication and commitment then look no further. Last season Matt’s hard work paid off as he competed with Glasgow in the mixed division of the World Championships in Cincinnati. He was also selected for Chevron and went on to win a Tour title, feature in the final of UK Nationals and play at the European Championships. In the upcoming season, Matt was looking forward to playing with Alba, a men’s team he established with the aim to compete at the highest level in Europe, and had already spent hours coming up with kit designs and speculating about future glory.

Matt was undoubtedly a top class player but it is off the pitch that we will miss him the most. He was incredibly welcoming and friendly and always fun to be around. He turned up for everything, whether it was social pick up or gruelling hill sprints you could count on him being there to encourage you, offer advice and make sure you had fun doing it. He was always up for a big night out and a scroll through his Facebook photos will give you an idea of the antics we got up to. He loved to spark a controversial discussion, but always had good intentions and knew how to make you laugh. Matt was full of ideas, whether it was forming teams, tournaments, exhibition games or designing new pieces of kit he was constantly engaging with people and thinking of ways to revolutionise the game. He took it upon himself to welcome new members and help them out and he was the kind of guy you could meet once and consider a friend. For those that knew him well, he would always give it to you straight, but he was also extremely generous and never afraid to open up.

Last Christmas Matt started the tradition of running a mini tournament in Glasgow as a chance for friends to get together to play over the festive break and to raise a small amount of money for charity. He had organised the same event for January 5th this year and the overwhelming feeling amongst those close to him was to pull together and make sure the event went ahead. In the end over 100 players showed up to play the tournament, to support Matt’s friends and honour his memory. It was overwhelming to see so many people sign up at short notice during the holidays and we raised over £500 for Matt’s chosen charities. He had such a big impact on Scottish Ultimate and it’s hard to think what it will be like without him, but there is comfort in knowing that positive things are still happening thanks to his passion and hard work, and that so many people will carry his memory forward. It’s going to be an incredibly difficult season, the first training session, the first tournament, the first social or late night track session will all be reminders of his absence, but together we’ll also find a way to remember the good times and everything he brought to our lives.

Thanks Matt, for everything you did for Glasgow, Scottish and UK Ultimate, and for being our friend, our team-mate and part of our family.

A memorial service for Matt will be held on Friday 18th of January at Alne Church, Yorkshire from 1pm. His family have asked that flowers are not sent and have instead set up a fundraising campaign to help develop local Ultimate as a lasting legacy of Matt’s passion and commitment to our sport:

Glasgow Ultimate