The Wolf didn’t quite get the fairy-tale ending we were all hoping for although he really wasn’t far off.
After bowing out of the British Open and other results going against him, Matthew was 9th in line to reach the PSA World Series finals in Dubai. Announcing his retirement at the beginning of the season, this was to be his last match as a professional squash player. However, when injury hit Marwan El Shobragy, Matthew was offered one last chance to go for glory.
At 37 years of age and playing opponents up to 11 years his junior, Matthew displayed all the attributes of a true champion. He won his group beating Tarek Momen, Miguel Angel Rodriguez and even getting one over on, world number 1, Mohammed El Shorbagy in their last ever match together.
In the semi-finals he came up against fellow Team Dunlop player, and world number 2, Ali Farag who played an incredible game to shut out the Wolf for the last time. El Shorbagy went onto win the finals making, Matthews victory over him all the more sweet.
Farag said: “It’s extremely emotional, I knew that if I was close to winning that they were going to be the last few points of Nick’s career. I didn’t want to talk about it at all because I think the more I talked about it the more it would have gotten into my head. Only such a legend would get a standing ovation for around 10 minutes.”
And that said it all. A standing ovation for around 10 minutes. Rapturous applause met The Wolf as he walked off the court for the last time. An acknowledgement of what he has not only achieved within the game but what he has added to it. An incredible list of honours make him one of the greatest Squash players to ever grace the game.
3x World Champion
3x Commonwealth Games Gold
3x British Open Champion
10x British National Champion
35x PSA World Tour Titles
Of course, Matthew plans to stay in Squash and further the sport in the future. It will not be the last we see of him. Here’s what Matthew has to say about his effort in the Finals and his future in Squash.
“A week ago, if you’d have offered me a semi-final place here I wouldn’t have believed it. A few people this week have been trying to talk me out of retirement but that’s not happening. I’m 100 per cent going to stay in squash, I’m going to have a rest this summer, I’ve got some camps in the US and I’ll have a lot of family time and regroup.”
Revered, envied and feared by his opponents, colleagues and competitors, Matthew has burned a legacy through Squash that can only be admired and appreciated. He has been a Dunlop player from the start and incredible ambassador for the brand and the sport of Squash.
He will be sorely missed on the PSA World Tour and we at Dunlop all wish him the best of luck on what’s coming next and thank him for the years of service to Dunlop and the sport of Squash, the memories and the legacy.