Party to celebrate life of Doncaster "mad cow disease" victim on what would have been his 40th birthday

A huge celebration is set to take place to remember a Doncaster teenager who died from the human form of "mad cow disease" to mark what would have been his 40th birthday.

Doncaster vCJD victim Matthew Parker who would have been 40 this year.
Doncaster vCJD victim Matthew Parker who would have been 40 this year.

Matthew Parker was 19 when he died in 1997 from vCJD - Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of so-called "Mad Cow Disease" which was linked with eating meat infected with BSE.

Now, on what would have been his 40th birthday this year, a huge celebration is being planned to mark the milestone and remember his passing more than two decades ago.

Friends, family and neighbours will gather at Armthorpe's Coronation Club for the ticket only event on September 1.

A post on the event's Facebook page said the night would be "a celebration of the life of Matthew Parker. A night to commemorate 21 years of Matthews' passing, and his forthcoming 40th birthday."

"Matthew is someone who is is still held so dear in the hearts of so many, and in the only way he would have wanted....let's make this truly 'A Night to Remember."

The event will include live music from The Torn and a DJ and tickets, which are strictly limited, are priced at £5.

Matthew's death was among the first to be documented as down to the illness, linked linked with eating BSE-infected meat, between 1997 and 2000.

BSE - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - and commonly known as mad cow disease, is a fatal brain disease in cattle and hit the headlines in a UK wide epidemic between 1986 and 1998 when more than 180,000 cattle were infected and 4.4 million slaughtered.

The disease can be transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord, or digestive tract of infected carcasses.

By June 2014, the human form vCJD had killed 177 people in the United Kingdom, and 52 elsewhere, primarily in countries supplied with beef or beef products from the UK.