Vale Matthew Furlong
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a close friend and former player, Matthew “Horse” Furlong.
Horse joined the St Ives Wahroonga Cricket Club during the 2010/11 season, playing 13 games. He achieved a top score of 53* which was a wonderful moment and memory for him, and fondly remembered by his teammates. Although Matthew’s stint at the club was brief, his impact was far from.
Matthew joined the club through mates, and he left the club with many more. To be so fondly remembered, despite a limited time at the club is a testament to his wonderful personality. So many of the guys who played with him in this brief period have been hit hard.
My favourite memory of Matthew at our club was not on the field, but in the clubhouse. Although I knew Matthew from outside of cricket, I was not completely privy to his smarts. One memorable club trivia night, we formed the aptly named, Matthew-led trivia team, ‘The Horse Paddock’.
Destroying all contenders, Matthew knocked off answer after answer, helping us canter to a win by five lengths. I still have a (rather worse for wear) George Foreman Grill, and we also took home $50, two bottles of wine and a Mike Hussey signed stump. If there’s any doubts over who was the brains of the operation, just remember I was his teammate!
While we would like to claim cricket as his primary passion, his real love was flying. Matthew did not play in my side but as I recall, his departure from the club was to pursue a career in flying. Horse lost his life doing what he had done so many times, sharing his love of the skies by training others.
A few years ago, cricketer Phil Hughes tragically passed away on the cricket field, forever 63*. I noticed a couple of the lads in their messages drawing comparisons, parting with forever 53* in reference to Horse’s great knock. I would still like to draw one parallel to both tragedies. At the end, they were following their passion.
I’d like to add something that I have glossed over, Matthew’s personality. I know it’s said often in dedications, but he really was kind, infectious, fun and a bubbly person to be around. It seems like a prerequisite for a pilot to have a sense of adventure, fun, humour, as well as discipline and intelligence. Horse had those attributes in spades.
Thanks for being part of the club and part of our lives, always 53*.
BG, on behalf of St Ives Wahroonga CC