A celebration of Matt's life was held in the Kingswood Chapel at Worthing Crematorium on Tuesday 7th May at 12.20pm.
Click here for the Order of Service or scroll down for tributes.
Thank you all for coming and for all your kind messages over the last few weeks.
Matthew is looking down on us wondering what all the fuss is about!
It's because we love you Matthew. Don't you worry about your family Debbie, Tom and Holly. We will look after them. You have a strong family and band of friends. I'd like to thank Paul, Martin and Thomas for all their efforts over the last few weeks to help this day run smoothly.
So God bless you Matthew and thank you for being one of my lovely sons.
Last month my baby brother died. I wish I could have donated my heart to him. I would have done so gladly and without hesitation. But instead, now my heart is broken. He's left a hole that can never be filled, and life will never be the same again.
Our mum died 8 years ago. She was only 66. We wanted to write a tribute from her 3 sons. Matt prepared a draft, but the words were so perfect that Martin and I couldn't change anything.
Now, I'm writing about Matt and I look back on his tribute to our mum.
Matt wrote: "Dad said remember the happy times, but there were none bad".
Well I was only a year old when Martin was born and only 3 when Matt was born. I can't remember a time when they weren't both there and all I can remember are happy times. Being the oldest I never considered having to go through losing either of them.
Matt went on to write: "Her legacy lives on in all of us. Words cannot thank her enough. We're going to miss you mum. We love you so much".
Well we're going to miss you too Matt and we love you so much too.
Finally Matt wrote: "To leave you with the immortal words we will live by: 'What would she have wanted?'. We must stay strong and together, both family and friends. She would like that. And knowing that she is watching over us, she will always be part of our lives".
Well what would Matt have wanted? I know without any doubt that he would want us to stay strong and together too, both family and friends. He would like that. And knowing that Matt is watching over us with our mum, they will both always be part of our lives.
The music we're going to listen to during the slide show later is what Matt wanted to play at our mum's funeral. We didn't use it in the end but knowing that Matt chose this track makes the lyrics even more poignant. So please listen carefully as well as watching the photos.
What Matt wouldn't have wanted is for us to sit here being sad and feeling sorry for ourselves, so I've tried to choose one of the many happy times... He didn't beat around the bush. I remember the time he came home to break it gently to our mum that she was going to have her first grandchild. He just came out with: "Mum, I've got something to tell you. Debbie's got a bun in the oven!".
Matt's legacy is Tom and Holly. Matt was a natural father from the moment he first held Tom in his arms. His love for Tom and Holly was always complete and unconditional. I admired him so much for this.
Tom, your dad was always so proud of you. Now you've grown up overnight and your dad would be as proud as ever. He may have nagged you sometimes but he couldn't help himself but to spoil you. I know without any doubt he would want you to carry on, look after your mum and your sister, do your best at school, live your dreams and be happy.
Holly, you remind me so much of your daddy. You're so utterly unselfish and generous. For your birthday this year you asked for a family meal. When Tom was upset recently you gave him your sweets. You were the first to write your tribute and the first to write your card for your flowers to him. You have a natural way with words.
So now it's time to "get back to normal", but without Matt it's going to have to be a "new normal". A "lesser normal" which we need to get used to. Over time this "new normal" will slowly get better and maybe one day may get close to the "old normal" we had with Matt.
I love you bruv and miss you so much.
It never crossed my mind that I would ever stand here and talk about my little brother not being around anymore. The phrase "Gone, but not forgotten" is often used, but seems perfect today.
Matt was not just a brother to me but also a great mate. Growing up we had a lot in common and would often be kicking a ball about, playing tennis or whatever sport we could find. As youngsters people often thought we were twins as we were similar height and both very blond.
Throughout our childhood, through our teens and into my early twenties we shared a room, often half Manchester United red, half Chelsea blue. I remember in 1996 a week or so before I was about to get married and leave home, we were still sharing a room, and I came home to find Matt had already started stripping the wallpaper ready for redecoration the moment I'd left! Cheers Bruv, I thought!!
Matt loved his sports, football in particular and although there are many moments of his playing career I could talk about, it is when he managed GSK I want to mention. GSK had had a great season, I think they had won the league and were in at least one cup final. I went to Woodside Road to see one of the finals, I thought it strange that my little bro was managing, as I'd always thought of him a just a great player. It wasn't until half time, when I stood nearby and listened to his team talk that I realised he was a great manager too. Every one of the players were listening intently, soaking up the instructions clearly from someone they respected.
One thing Matt said many years ago, that I feel describes his sporting mentality, is "It's not the winning that counts, it's how much you win by" He didn't like to lose, and rarely did.
Matt leaves a loving family in Debbie, Tom and Holly and whilst we know that Matt is irreplaceable, if any of you ever need anything, you know that we the family and his many friends are here for you.
Goodbye little brother, miss you.
Daddy you were a legendary man and you will always mean the world to me.
You were not only my dad, but you were also my best pal.
I couldn't wish for any better memories, but I just wish you were here so we could make many more together.
I will not ever forget the times we went to Center Parcs or Devon. They were amazing times!
I never knew that you had two families, but I found out it was just at cards so it was alright! I remember the time when I asked you if you preferred to stay with me on a Friday night or go to cards. You took a long time to choose but you said to me: "I love you but I love my cards as well!"
I knew that you loved me anyway.
Rest in peace daddy.
Thank you Dad for making me the person I am today.
You have inspired me to do so many good things.
I will always look up to you and try to be like you in so many different ways.
You have set me up for a good life and I promise I'll make you proud by doing the things in life you wanted me to achieve.
I will always do my best in everything I try, as you always told me.
You have left a hole that will never be filled and my life will never be the same again but I will try my best to carry on the great "Chappie" reputation you left behind.
I will treasure all our memories and they will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I will feel you will always be looking down on us and helping me and my family, later in life when I think of you I will have smiles instead of tears.
Without you my life will get tougher but even though you're not here I will still feel that you're always watching me and guiding me to success.
I would do anything just to spend 5 minutes with you and tell you all the things I have done since you have gone like my bike ride and my team winning the league this season.
I miss you so much and a day will never go pass without me thinking of you.
I hope you're in a better place and maybe one day I will see you again sometime.
We had a whirlwind meeting, but we knew we were meant to be together from the start. You were always very hands on with the kids and never complained about doing anything, even nappies, but that's the sort of guy you were, always ready to lend a hand.
You were such a family man, so much so you didn't just have one but two families, us and the Friday card family, who I know will also miss you taking part and occasionally winning the odd game!
We spent so many happy times together and I will always cherish the memories that we have made.
You were not only my husband but you were my best friend and my life will never be the same without you by my side. I will miss you so very much, as will everyone that knew you.
I am proud to have stood by your side as your wife and will carry on being proud of the memories we share, and for the legacy you left in your two beautiful children. I'm sure they will become as loyal, loving and competitive as you were as they are part of you.
God bless sweetheart, I will see you again sometime, somewhere. xxxx
It's an honour and privilege to pay tribute to a very special person. Matt was remarkable in so many ways. He lived his life to the full and touched so many people during his time here with us.
We have heard from members of his family some of the things that made Matt important to them. But of course we know that there is so much more than can be said in just the short time we have here. I hope that you will be able to share your memories of Matt with one another afterwards at the refreshments.
Matt was born at Zachery Merton in Rustington the youngest of the three brothers. He went to school locally at the John Selden First & Middle, then to Durrington High and then off to Chichester College of Design & Technology where his focus was Sport and PE. We have heard that he was always football mad.
He went to work at what was Lloyd's registry now known as Equinity and was there for 17 years.
He was good at his work, respected by those around him – I'm sure he'll be hard if not impossible to replace.
Debbie met him at his friends and they married in 2001 although they'd been together for much longer than that. Tom, Matt and Debbie's son saw his Dad as a friend as well as a Father, even though he was very competitive and liked to win. But then he liked Tom to win and do his best too. Tom loves football just like his Dad. Holly his daughter enjoyed going swimming and to the park with her Dad and like him loves writing and being creative.
Matt was part of a very close family, his brothers Paul and Martin and his Dad Brian are a great support to Debbie Tom and Holly as well as feeling their own loss.
Matt had lots of close friends, he was honest and likeable, a gentle giant. He was always cheerful, laid back and positive. He was a good friend who could be counted on and depended on always. Ready, steadfast, willing and good fun.
Matt was the kind of person of whom there is a kaleidoscope of memories, memories that I'm sure you will always carry with you - memories that defined Matt; memories to be treasured.
It is very hard to say goodbye and we don't want to, but we need to remember that Matt lived so positively, you could say that he left the world a better place than when he found it and for that we will always be grateful.
The hymn that we've just sung, praises God for all kinds of things in his creation. Matt was part of his creation too, someone surely to praise God for.
God bless you Matt. Amen
In memory of Matthew David Chaplain | 7 March 1975 - 15 April 2013