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Matthew was always his own man. He was not a follower, fashion etc. He was not a sheep and always made up his own mind. This is why it is so unbelievable and out of character. He must of had a stupid moment or glitch, lapse etc. At the end of the day Matthew has not done anything illegal. He has not broken the law of the land, but I would argue the ethics, that's why he probably did not tell us. It is legal to buy and to take anabolic steroids. The illegal part is the selling or dealing of them. (In the UK) We are talking about a boy that eats healthily and is a fitness fanatic and never smoked (clean living). So what did he perceive a steroid as - a supplement ? When Matthew joined the Academy Gym on the London Road, Westcliff On Sea, we thought he was going into an environment of health and fitness. We didn't give drugs a second thought. He bought the steroids from Alex Moss-Austin, another 17 year old at the time who was using them. He was using his own body as an advert. This guy as far as we are concerned is the salesman and the result in Matthew's case was a tragic end of his life. Matthew had no underlying health problems, even in the post mortem only the effects of the steroids could be found.        


We hope by letting people know that we have lost so much with the tragic death of our beautiful boy, which has scared our family and will be with us for the rest of our lives, we will raise awareness of the dangers of these steroids and their potentially fatal consequences. Last year we raised over £3,000 for 2Smart4Drugs by doing a sponsored walk with our "Dealers Are Scum" campaign along the seafront. We wanted to highlight that these dealers come in all disguises, they could be the boy next door, a friend from school etc. A dealer is a dealer, they are evil and are salesmen of death and misery. This year Matthew's story will be featured in the 2Smart roadshow. 


Thousands of young people across Essex have watched the 2SMART roadshow. Supt Ewen Wilson and Jo van Zanten, youth development coordinator, talk about the importance of Essex Police's 2SMART roads...

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