We, at Northwich Rowing Club would have loved to have organized an open top bus to show off our own hero, Matthew Langridge, GB rower, medal winner of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Instead his friends, family and fellow club members gathered at the club to celebrate his superb achievement. An Olympic Silver medal in the Men's Eight.
The evening was a joyous occasion with everyone young and old keen to congratulate the young man, all of us anxious to touch and even wear the silver medal, having a cherished photograph taken with him. The Mayor of Vale Royal Cllr. Malcolm Gaskill & Mayoress, Jo Gaskill and Mike Hall MP were delighted to attend.
Matt was surprised and pleased to receive a special sports recognition award from Vale Royal Borough Council presented by the Mayor. Mike Hall who has followed Matt's development and progress over the past 11 years gave a short poignant and personal speech. However, it was Paul Rafferty, Matt's coach during his club years and close personal friend who during his speech explained Matt's bitter disappointment in failing to win the gold medal but managed to sum up the evening and why we were all there.
"Well Done, Matt"! shouted the cheer from all of us that nearly took the roof off the building. We all felt very proud at that moment and it will be a night to remember!
Rio 2016 - Olympiad:
Mens eight won Gold.
Sunday 17th August will be imprinted on the minds of Northwich RC's members for a long time to come. That was the day Matthew Langridge (Honorary NRC member) and his colleagues in the Men's Eight won a Olympic SILVER medal!
Club members gathered at the club in the morning to share in the exciting build up to the blue riband event of the Olympic regatta, the final of the Men's Eights.
A thrilling race was anticipated with GB hoping to win gold. GB men's eight looked impressive in winning their heat. They knew today that Canada would be the main opposition.
Canada had a very fast start and led after 10 strokes. GB pushed them all the way with real determination, but Canada dominated the race to the finish. At 1500m the GB crew clawed back an overlap. With 500m to go, Canada led with GB just ahead of the USA, both crews clawing their way back. The tussle behind the Canadians was immense, Great Britain eventually came out on top, just a few feet ahead of the USA to take the Silver.
What a superb achievement and a fantastic performance!
We in the club house were shouting and willing the Eight to victory with every stroke they took, everyone of us feeling the pain but urging them on. Many of us who have known Matt since he was a Junior, learning to row on the Weaver, instantly shared his disappointment in coming home in second place. This was mirrored on the faces of his crew mates who had all been hungry for a Gold.
Great Britain finish top of the medal table for the regatta - A Great result for British Team. Watch out London 2012 we will be back.
London 2012 Olympiad: 2009 – 2012
During the 2012 World Cup Series, Matt raced in the men's eight. In Belgrade, the crew won a silver medal finishing 3 seconds behind the German eight. The crew won silver once again in Lucerne but closed the gap to just over 1 second and followed up with a bronze medal at Munich World Cup. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Matt won a bronze medal in the men's eight.