Matthew J Watkins laid to rest
The funeral was held on Tuesday March 31 with only a small gathering of close family due to Coronavirus quarantine measures. The rest of the rugby world watched on via online streams as they bid farewell to a friend, colleague or relative.
Rugby personalities from across the country sent in their respects via social media for a man who was beloved by all.
The life of the former Wales centre was due to be celebrated ahead of Wales’ final home game against Scotland, but never took place due to the game being cancelled.
Amongst those who shared their memories and respects were former clubs, supporters and playing colleagues. Scott Quinnell, James Hook, Freddie Burns and Mike Phillips were among those sharing memories.
Llanelli Club pay tribute to ex-player
Our thoughts today are with MJ’s family!
A great person and a true rugby guy! ?
RIP Matthew Watkins! pic.twitter.com/NEuMvBXxJ2
— Llanelli RFC (@LlanelliRFC) March 31, 2020
Mike Phillips and former teammates pay homage
What a truly amazing person, my thoughts are with MJ’s family today. Sorry I can’t be there. RIP Matthew Watkins pic.twitter.com/aTlXUSXpLU
— Mike Phillips (@mikephillips009) March 31, 2020
A few words from our president Phil Bennett on Matthew J Watkins
“Matthew was an excellent rugby player and, above all, a lovely man. There was a modesty and humility about him and a concern for others.” (1/2) pic.twitter.com/TGVd8a7FwT
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) March 31, 2020
— Dragons ? (@dragonsrugby) March 31, 2020
Thoughts go out to MJ’s family today. He was a fantastic player, but an even better bloke. Shame we can’t be there today, he will truly be missed but never forgotten x pic.twitter.com/Ig1mujCSqM
— Adam (@Jones4adam) March 31, 2020
— Geraint John (@geraintrugby) March 31, 2020
Saying goodbye to a great man today. Unfortunately he can’t have the send off he deserves, but we’re all there in spirit and thinking of Stacey, Tal, Sior and all his family. Gone too soon but never forgotten. RIP @mattjwatkins #oneofthebest pic.twitter.com/FGmViHviKv
— Shaun Connor (@10sac1975) March 31, 2020
41 years old is way too young to be taken from your Family. Tragic time for M J’s Family & Close Friends. Wales has lost a former great player, lovely lad and I can’t help feeling he had so much to offer as a young Coach too, should he have decided to move down that route. RIP MJ
— Mark Ring (@MarkRing10) March 31, 2020
— Rodney Parade (@rodneyparade) March 31, 2020
#RIPMJ Thoughts go out to his family. Always one of the toughest opponents to go up against and a great guy off the pitch. Will always remember him eating onions as a punishment in Kangaroo Court as he couldn’t drink! pic.twitter.com/e115JCaPhf
— Jamie Robinson (@Jamie13Robinson) March 31, 2020
I had the privilege of playing school, junior & youth rugby along side Jay. He was a player everyone looked up to & we knew he had something special. Not only a team mate but a good friend. I’m gutted ?
My thoughts are with Stacey, Tal, Sior & Family #RIPMJ pic.twitter.com/B628CpnFA1
— J&C West (@welshwest) March 31, 2020
— James William Hook (@hookjameshook) March 31, 2020
Dug out an old gloucester jersey (not the one during MJ’s time at the club) but remind me of MJ Watkins today. Remember finding his car running, door open but no MJ then finding him face down in the long grass he fell in during a back spasm. Legend. #RIPMJ pic.twitter.com/IVH5Xi5rVW
— Freddie Burns (@FreddieBurns) March 31, 2020
Thinking of MJ today. I was lucky enough to play a lot of rugby and golf with Him. Great man and is very much missed by all that new him. Love and thoughts with his family today as he is laid to rest. Sorry we can’t be there for you. #RIPMJ ??????????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/HKz8MIeHzH
— Scott Quinnell (@ScottQuinnell) March 31, 2020
“Main photo credit”