Owls and Blades run out winners in Matt’s match

Pictured are family and friends of Matthew Cryer taking part in a Owls v Blades match at Hillsborough for the 'Justice for Matt Campaign'.Matthews father David with the teams before the KO
Pictured are family and friends of Matthew Cryer taking part in a Owls v Blades match at Hillsborough for the 'Justice for Matt Campaign'.Matthews father David with the teams before the KO
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It was the day Owls and Blades came together as one.

Fans from both sides of the city’s footballing divide were determined to do their bit to aid a Sheffield family’s fight for justice.

Friends and family of Matthew Cryer - some Wednesday, some United - played a game on the hallowed turf of Hillsborough.

Their goal was to keep Matthew’s family’s campaign for justice alive.

Matthew was just 17 when he lost his life on the Greek holiday island of Zante five years ago.

It was his first holiday abroad without his parents.

The Greek authorities at first claimed he had died after becoming so drunk he choked on his own vomit.

That was later proved to be a lie.

An inquest in Chesterfield heard he had in fact died from terrible injuries after being beaten and then thrown down a steep flight of metal stairs by bouncers at the Cocktail and Dreams Nightclub in the resort of Laganas. Policemen attending the scene stood by and smoked as Matthew’s life ebbed away.

The coroner recorded a verdict that the teenager, who grew up in Frecheville and Killamarsh, had been unlawfully killed.

And, despite his family’s campaign to bring those responsible to justice, no-one has ever been charged.

But Matthew’s dad Dave has vowed the family will never give up the fight.

He said: “Our objective is to see the two bouncers who did this locked up - and one day that will happen.

“Matthew was a massive Wednesdayite all his life. He would have loved to have run down the tunnel and on to the pitch to play on the hallowed turf, and we were proud to have done that in his memory.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Sheffield Wednesday, and particularly operations manager John Rutherford, for allowing us to play.”

The match ended in a 4-4 draw with Dave himself scoring a late penalty to level the score.

But everyone who played was a winner in Dave’s eyes.

He said: “We had a smashing day. Those who played, whether they were wearing red and white or blue and white, will remember this day all their lives.

“I got quite emotional walking down the tunnel and on to the pitch knowing Matthew would have so loved to have been at my side.”