Mansfield dedicate derby to late Matt Salmon

MANSFIELD TOWN will take on local rivals Notts County for the Matt Salmon Trophy tomorrow in honour of their former physio who died earlier this year.

Salmon died in May at the age of just 25 following a long battle with lung cancer. There will also be a minute’s applause in the 25th minute of the game at Field Mill tomorrow, while Salmon's wife and family will be attending as guests of honour.

Earlier in his career, Salmon did work experience in the medical department at Notts County before spending three-and-a-half years at the Stags as both first-team and Academy physio.

Stags manager Steve Evans told TGG: "Matt was a special lad and this is a fantastic tribute for someone who was taken far too young. He is still often spoken about at the club and tomorrow will be an extra special and emotional occasion for everyone involved."

Salmon's dad Andy said: “We are so very proud that this fixture has been named in Matt’s memory.

The response from his colleagues, friends and fans at Mansfield Town and Notts County and the entire football family immediately after his death provided us all with enormous support and for that we are very grateful.

“To dedicate this match to Matt and to present this impressive trophy named after him shows how both clubs really care for their wider club families and community.

“For both clubs to play for a trophy in his name would bring a wry smile to his face although he would try and hide it behind his professionalism and focus on caring for the players. To return to the club for this fixture will be very emotional.”

The Stags will also name a new physio room, currently under construction at One Call Stadium, in Matt’s honour.

Mansfield chief executive Carolyn Radford said: “It’s fitting that we remember Matt in such a way and we thank Alan [Hardy, Notts chairman] and everyone at Meadow Lane who have shown real integrity and warm spirits in the organisation of this trophy.”

Notts County owner Alan Hardy said: “This was the very least that we could do for Matt. He was at Meadow Lane for only a short while but his reputation lives on. He had a wonderful time with us and learnt a lot under Johnny Wilson and the rest of the medical staff and they still speak highly of him today.”

Johnny Wilson, the Head of Sports Medicine at County, added: "Matt was a former student of mine at the club and he was such a lovely guy. We stayed in touch throughout his career.

"I'm meeting his dad Andy before the game and it's going to be a very special day."

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