- Former Wigan Athletic defender Matty Carragher passes away at the age of 40
- Club send its condolences to friends and family of Matty Carragher
- “He has gone way too early, it’s so sad. ” – Matty Carragher’s former Latics manager Graham Barrow
The club is deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of former defender Matty Carragher, who has passed away at the age of 40.
Reports from Port Vale, for whom he signed after leaving Wigan Athletic in 1997, suggest he passed away peacefully after losing a battle with cancer, but no other details are known at this stage.
Everyone at Wigan Athletic passes their sincere condolences to Matty’s friends and family.
Liverpool-born Matty was a product of the Latics School of Excellence, coming through the ranks to make his debut off the bench aged 17 in an extraordinary 6-3 victory over Chester City at Springfield Park in October 1993.
Matty in action against Rochdale at Springfield Park in a 4-0 win in October 1994
Ironically, the Chester manager that day was Graham Barrow, who joined Latics the following season, and it was under the current Latics assistant manager that the young Carragher established himself as the first choice right back at Wigan Athletic.
Speaking from the club’s Euxton Training Ground this morning, Barrow said: “It’s a real shock to hear the news, he’s gone too young, it’s really sad and our thoughts are with his family and friends.
“I remember Matty as a really good young player, who came through the ranks under David Crompton and in those days we relied on the players we either produced ourselves or brought in at a young age who were released from other clubs.
Matty, second from right alongside fellow apprentices at Springfield Park in July 1992. Coach David Crompton is on the left
“The two outstanding talents we had at the time were Matty and Ian Kilford, later followed by Michael Millett. I felt all three could have played at the highest level. Michael was a tragic story of course, but in Matty and Ian’s cases I thought they had a real chance but football sometimes doesn’t always reward the right players.
“Nevertheless, Matty - and Ian - enjoyed good careers as pro-footballers in the Football League and with Matty, it was obvious from a young age he had something special. He gave everything every time he put on the shirt, with great energy and a terrific attitude to the game. He was a lovely lad to manage, and it was a real pleasure to see him progress over the years. I know he is remembered very fondly at Port Vale as well where he became a big favourite. A really sad day.”
Following Barrow’s departure, Carragher went on to play under John Deehan at Latics and was part of the squad that lifted the Division 3 Title in 1997, his final year at the club, by which time he had made 145 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals, two in the FA Cup and one in the League Cup but never in the League.
He moved onto Port Vale in 1997, becoming captain and appearing 221 times in all competitions. He finished off his career at Macclesfield Town, playing 57 games in all competitions. He also played for Stafford Rangers.
Matty in action in a 1-0 win over Chesterfield at Springfield Park in April 1994