TOP SEED NICK MATTHEW DONATES CANARY
WHARF SQUASH CLASSIC PRIZE MONEY TO SICK YOUNG FAN
by ALAN THATCHER
Former world champion Nick Matthew has pledged to donate
every penny of his prize money from next week’s Canary Wharf
Squash Classic to a young fan who is fighting an incurable form
World No.4 Matthew, the top seed at Canary Wharf,
is making this extraordinary gesture to help fund the treatment
costs of 11-year-old Sussex boy Sumner Malik, who has a
rare type of brain tumour.
Sumner was diagnosed after falling ill during a family holiday
Matthew is encouraging the worldwide squash community to support
the family’s appeal to raise money to pay for treatment, which
is not available on the NHS.
Nick said: “I was so moved by Sumner’s story that I just
wanted to do what I could to help, especially as I have known
his family for years. We need to raise as much money as possible
to fund his treatment so I’d ask everyone to give whatever they
can afford to help him.
“He is such a brave young man and I know he is a massive squash
fan so it would be fantastic if everyone at the Canary Wharf
Classic can pull together to help him with his fight.”
Despite his condition, brave Sumner still trains and plays
squash with the rest of his family at the K2 Sports Centre in
Crawley. He actually got on court with Matthew during the recent
British Junior Open in Matthew’s home city of Sheffield.
One of six children, Sumner’s story has
touched fans all over the world. The PSA, who run the
professional World Tour, flew Sumner and his family out to Egypt
last year to watch the World Championships in Cairo. While
there, Sussex junior Sumner enjoyed joining the Squash TV
His illness, known as DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma) is
a tumour found in a part of the brain stem called the pons. The
pons controls essential bodily functions such as heartbeat,
breathing, swallowing, eye movement, eyesight, and balance.
Sumner’s father, Camron, said: “We really appreciate Nick’s
amazing gesture. It's actually unbelievable that he has offered
this, as we know that he’s only just recently moved home and has
a young family of his own.
“We also know that squash players don’t earn what tennis and
football players do. So this is huge in terms of scale to make
an offer towards the treatment.”
As Sumner underwent treatment on Monday, Mr Malik revealed the
enormous costs involved.
He added: “Our initial invoice was £86,000 for the trial at
the Harley Street Clinic in London. We have just paid £60,500
today and we are still trying to raise £6,000 per month for the
monthly infusion costs at the Harley Street Clinic. This could
go up to £11,000 per month depending on which drug Sumner is
more responsive to.
“As long as this trial works in inhibiting the growth of the
tumour we may well be able to send Sumner on to immunotherapy in
Germany at an additional cost of €40,000 per trip which we
believe could be every six weeks.”
Sumner will be a guest of honour
at the East Wintergarden on Monday as Matthew begins his quest
for a sixth Canary Wharf Squash Classic title. He faces
Australian world No.15 Ryan Cuskelly on the opening
night, which also features a mouthwatering match between 2015
runner-up Simon Rosner and New Zealand sensation Paul
The tall German Rosner warmed up for Canary Wharf with the best
result of his career, beating Egyptian ace Ramy Ashour in the
Windy City Open in Chicago.
England’s Daryl Selby, always a popular competitor,
begins the 2017 tournament with a match against a qualifier. The
No.7 seed from Essex said: “I went down with a fever in
Chicago but I hope to be fully fit for Canary Wharf.”
Also in action on Monday is No.4 seed Fares Dessouky,
from Egypt, who also faces a qualifier.
The bottom half of the first round draw takes place on Tuesday,
with No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy in the spotlight after
beating his brother, world No.1 Mohamed, for the first time in
the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open. He then beat fellow
Egyptian Ali Farag to reach his first PSA World Series
tournament final against Gregory Gaultier from France.
The qualifying competition takes place this weekend at the
Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club.
at the BJO
at the French JO
Good shot, Nick!
at the Worlds in Cairo