Tributes paid to ex-soldier who died on holiday

Matthew, originally of Workington, was in Boston with his girlfriend of four years Katy Huntington when he died on August 20.

Tributes have been paid to a lover of adventure and keen motocross rider who died suddenly on holiday. The heartbroken family of Matthew Murphy shared their memories of the former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer after he died at the age of 28.

Matthew, originally of Workington, was in Boston with his girlfriend of four years Katy Huntington when he died on August 20. Katy, 33, described him as a loyal friend and partner who loved travelling. She said: “Whenever we went somewhere we would get a bottle of wine and sit and watch the sun go down.

That is one of my favourite memories, it’s something we did everywhere we went.” Matthew had travelled a lot as part of his job with the army. Although his main base was Catterick, he served around the world in countries including Germany, Kenya, Canada and twice in Afghanistan.

His sister Helen Macarthur, 34, said: “He loved being in the army and spending time with the lads, he loved the banter.” Matthew left the army around four years ago and had more recently worked as an operations engineer for PX Limited and Lake District Biogas. Matthew was a keen motocross rider and he spent a lot of time riding around Siddick when he was younger.

He enjoyed riding his bike on touring holidays in Romania and Nepal and more recently he enjoyed riding up and down the track of his Rosley farmhouse, which he shared with Katy. Matthew loved his dog Snoop and could often be seen driving his pick-up truck with the dog in the back. He enjoyed walking and going caravaning in the Lake District with Snoop and Katy as well as horse riding.

The couple were also keen members of a local 4×4 club. Matthew recently became an uncle after Helen gave birth to Mia six weeks ago. Helen said: “He was really good with kids, he had a lot of godchildren.

He only saw Mia three times, the first few times he was nervous, but the last time he saw her he picked her up, walked in front of the mirror and called her princess.” Katy added: “He couldn’t wait to see Mia again after our holiday, he kept talking about her.” The couple had enjoyed a two-week holiday in America, visiting New York, Pennsylvania, the Niagara Falls and other beauty spots along the Canadian border and were preparing to return home the following day, when Matthew died.

Katy said they shared the love of travelling, which took them to Australia, America, Canada, Spain, France, Cyprus and Santorini – Matthew’s favourite place. They also shared the love of food and it was after a date at Hayes garden centre and the Log House restaurant in Ambleside that the couple fell in love and became inseparable. Katy renovates houses and the couple met when Matthew bought a house off her.

They got talking, until Matthew invited her out. She said: “All his friends took the mick out of him for taking me there for our first date. But it was around Christmas, it was snowing and it was just beautiful – I guess he was quite romantic.”

Matthew was very close to his mum Rosalind. Helen said: “Matthew was born premature, he was just 1lb 10oz when he was born and he had to spend six month at the RVI in Newcastle when he was born. After we didn’t know if he’d survive, his bond with mam became very strong.”

Helen added her and her brother used to pick on each other as children, stealing from each other’s plated dinners left in the fridge by their mum and pulling faces at her brother from the garden when he had been sent to his room for being naughty. But as they grew up they became really close. Matthew had lots of friends he liked to spend time with and his favourite pub to meet his mates was the Miners Arms in Workington.

Katy wants to pay tribute to him by taking part in activities her late partner enjoyed, such as jet-skiing, climbing Great Gable for Remembrance Day – as he did every year – and go clay pigeon shooting. Matthew’s funeral service will take place on Monday, September 10 at Distington Crematorium at 1.15pm. People can make donations in lieu of flowers on the day.

Donations will be split between the Royal British Legion and the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Anybody is welcome to join the family at the Royal British Legion in Workington from 3pm.

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