Peerless effort in aid of Beyond Wigan Pier

Matthew Unsworth meets Wonder Woman at an event
Matthew Unsworth meets Wonder Woman at an event

A kind-hearted fan of a new Wigan musical is defying his rare and serious medical condition to take the plunge and fund-raise for the show.

Matthew Unsworth, who suffers from methylmalonic acidemia which leaves him unable to walk, is tackling a sponsored swim to support the spectacular production Beyond Wigan Pier.

Matthew became determined to help make the show a reality as he knows its creator, Ince-based musician Alan Gregory, through his previous involvement at My Life CIC in Standish.

Matthew will complete 100 metres at pool at Total Fitness in Wigan on April 15 and has already raised more than his original £500 target.

The lengths he is going to for Beyond Wigan Pier has certainly touched the heart of Alan and his team bringing the musical to life.

Alan said: “This is one of the most touching things I’ve ever come across in my life. He has always been in this wheelchair and fed intravenously, but yet he’s just about the most warm-hearted chap I’ve ever met.

“I met Matthew initially through My Life and he also travels to Wigan to attend various other CICs here. He loves acting and he came over when I started Pianos, Pies and Pirouettes.

"He’s also going to be part of Beyond Wigan Pier as there’s nothing stopping anybody doing the performance when it’s put on in 2020.”

Alan has asked squad members from the Wigan Warriors Women’s team to support Matthew at the pool on Sunday and is also throwing an after-party for him that evening at Sunshine House in Scholes.

He has also asked the council chief executive Donna Hall to make Matthew, who lives in Abbey Village near Chorley, an honorary Wiganer.

The Orwell musical has attracted massive support from the Wigan public, with a staggering £42,000 raised in an internet crowdfunding programme.

Major political figures, include MP Jo Platt, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and council chief executive Donna Hall, have all thrown their support behind the production.

For more information about Matthew’s fund-raising effort visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matthew-unsworth