Three-time British Open champion Nick Matthew kick started local promotion of the 2013 Allam British Open during the live Sky Sports football match at the KC Stadium between Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Matthew, who was joined on the pitch at half time by future stars from the Humber Junior Squash Academy, spoke to the 16,500 football fans about this year’s tournament and the significance of such a major event being staged in the local area.
England Squash & Racketball continue to build a strong partnership with Hull City AFC whose owner, the Egyptian born entrepreneur Dr. Assem Allam, is also the British Open’s title sponsor. The Yorkshireman’s appearance is just the start of planned ongoing local promotion for the sports most prestigious and iconic tournament which will be staged for the first time ever on a football pitch at the KC Stadium between 20-26 May.
Double world champion, Nick Matthew said: “The British Open is the Wimbledon of squash, it really is the one that everyone wants to win and I’m lucky enough to have three titles to my name but I certainly will be aiming for a fourth. It’s fantastic that the Open is coming to Yorkshire and I can’t wait to play in May. The junior squash players have been brilliant today helping to hand out flyers outside the stadium and you never know we could be looking at a future Olympic champion.”
Matthew continued, “We are of course grateful and thankful for Dr. Allam’s continued and valuable support in ensuring the tournament’s success. His passion and enthusiasm for the sport are second to none.”
A strong legacy plan has been developed to ensure that children and adults from the surrounding areas benefit from the event and have the opportunity to get involved with the sport. England Squash & Racketball has also invested money into the University of Hull to develop the sporting facilities to create an attractive and modern squash environment.
Although sporting the colours of Hull City with his amber scarf, Matthew actually left the ground happier than the home fans as he saw his side (Sheffield Wednesday) claim all three points at the KC Stadium with a surprise 3-1 victory. Matthew will be hoping for similar success when he graces the Tigers home turf in May.
Full coverage and tickets: www.britishopensquash.net