Mansfield Town and Notts County have cast aside their fierce rivalry by uniting to remember former physiotherapist Matt Salmon in competing for a trophy named in his memory.
Matt tragically died in May of this year after a long battle with cancer aged just 25.
Earlier in his career, he enjoyed work experience in the medical department at Notts County before three-and-a-half years at the Stags as academy physio up until his untimely death.
The Matt Salmon Trophy, sponsored by Nottingham Post, will be competed for this Saturday when the two teams meet at One Call Stadium in a hotly-anticipated Sky Bet League Two contest (1pm) as well as the reverse fixture at Meadow Lane in March of next year.
Matt’s wife and family have been invited to the match as special guests to mark the occasion.
Mansfield Town chief executive Carolyn Radford said: “Matt was an incredible person, the type to do anything for anyone. He brought so much to his role at Mansfield Town. He was completely indulged in his work and loved his role at the club.
“It’s fitting that we remember Matt in such a way and we thank Alan [Hardy, Notts chairman] and everyone at Meadow Lane who have shown real integrity and warm spirits in the organisation of this trophy.”
The Stags will also name a new physio room, currently under construction at One Call Stadium, will be named in Matt’s honour.
"Matt was an incredible person, the type to do anything for anyone."
Notts County chairman Alan Hardy said: “This was the very least that we could do for Matt.
“We were all devastated to learn of Matt’s passing, it was incredibly sad. I initially saw his tweet a couple of days before his passing and shared some [tweets] with him. I obviously knew he was poorly, but had no idea of the level of his condition.
“He was at Meadow Lane for only a short while but his reputation lives on. He had a wonderful time with us and learnt a lot under Johnny Wilson and the rest of the medical staff and they still speak highly of him today.
“We’re both East Midlands’ rivals at heart but ultimately we’re all football people within our region and in that sense we’re on the same side.”
Matt’s father Andy, said his son would have been humbled to learn of the news. He said: “We are so very proud that this fixture has been named in Matt’s memory.
“The response from his colleagues, friends and fans at Mansfield Town and Notts County and the entire football family immediately after his death provided us all with enormous support and for that we are very grateful.
"To dedicate this match to Matt and to present this impressive trophy named after him shows how both clubs really care for their wider club families and community.
“For both clubs to play for a trophy in his name would bring a wry smile to his face although he would try and hide it behind his professionalism and focus on caring for the players.
“To return to the club for this fixture will be very emotional and we wish both clubs good luck but I hope you will forgive us a little bias towards the Stags!”