Cricket club marks the life of tragic teen

Matthew Miller is his playing days
Matthew Miller is his playing days
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The life of a Leyland cricketer who died after falling from a motorway bridge has been celebrated with the unveiling of a memorial bench.

Runshaw College student Matthew Miller, 17, died in January 2010, from his injuries after the tragedy near junction 28 on the M6.

On Sunday, members and fomer team-mates of the popular teenager revealed a bench in his memory at the Fox Lane ground ahead of Leyland’s Readers Cup final win with Kendal.

His parents Kevin and Annette Miller were joined by family members for the moving ceremony.

Mum Annette said: “We had to do it for Matthew. To see his name on the plaque was very touching.

“It was the first time I’ve been down to the club since it happened.

“I would like to thank the whole of the cricket club but especially Phil Reece for organising it.

“Matthew would have been made up. I felt he was with me. My whole family was there and I was shocked at how big the bench was.”

The day was complete when Leyland staged a dramatic comeback to win the final. “I watched the Leyland innings and even though they only scored 96 I had a feeling they would win,” she said.

Club spokesman and 3rd XI captain Phil Reece said: “It was very moving. Whilst marking the occasion we wanted to make it as pain-free as we could.

“It’s still very upsetting for everybody involved. I think they did really well. It brought back a lot of memories.

“It was the first time they’d been back to the club (since Matthew died) and we hope they’ll come down many more times.

“I said a few words that came from the heart to say it was provided by club members.

“Matthew is still very much in all our thoughts. After the game a couple of the players said attending the ceremony put the match into perspective and helped them focus.”

An inquest found that the former Balshaw’s High School pupil had been the victim of bullying in the lead-up to his death.