Tributes paid to Corby character who 'lived life to the full'

David Matthew died at a hotel in the Old Village on Wednesday aged just 39

By Kate Cronin
Friday, 17th April 2020, 6:15 am
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 8:17 am
David 'Dave the Rave' Matthew has died aged just 39
David 'Dave the Rave' Matthew has died aged just 39

A Corby man who always went out of his way to help others despite his own troubles has been discovered dead.

Friends and family of David “Dave the Rave” Matthew, 39, have now paid tribute to the man who had a 'heart of gold.'

David had been homeless for some years and had lately been suffering from cancer.

He was well-known on the streets of Corby and to homeless services in the town but had struggled to find a safe place to stay in recent months. He was a helper at the Help the Homeless charity - one of the town's first groups set up to help rough sleepers - and provided a vital link between the volunteers there and the homeless community.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 last month, David had been put up at the Eazzzy Rooms Hotel above Decades along with other rough sleepers from the town. Police were called to the scene of his death on Wednesday (April 15) but it was later said not to be suspicious.

His former partner Emma Allan, with whom David had two children Johnjoe and Jamie, said: "David "DaveTheRave" Matthew was one of a kind, loved to go out to music festivals, raves, partying hard, living life to the full.

"David was a character. He has had a roller coaster ride in life but he always made sure to make the most of any situation.

"He had a heart of gold and always helped when asked. David left his foot prints everywhere he went and will be remembered by many.

"David leaves behind a beautiful Daughter Courtney and two handsome boys Johnjoe and Jamie. They may not have always seen eye to eye but he adored his kids. He would do anything for them.

"He is now at peace with his two older sisters Melanie and Susan, and leaves behind many siblings; John, Stella, Brian, Andy, Willy Clare and Robert, his mum and dad Margaret and John and lots of nieces and nephews. His big smile will be sadly missed every day and never forgotten."

Tanya Evans, who ran Help the Homeless until its closure a couple of years ago, said: "He volunteered for us with a couple of others. He would help bring everything in, set up the tables, and sort out clothes. He also did a lot of outreach for us to get word out to the homeless community that we were there for them to get food and a shower.

"He was a great help and a kind gentleman."

Ashlee Duncan who runs Corby Rise, a service which offers hot meals and practical support to Corby's homeless community, said: "All volunteers at Corby Rise are deeply saddened by the news of Dave's passing. His contagious smile and cheek-chappy personality will be sorely missed by all.

"We send our deepest sympathy to all his family at this sad time. Sleep tight Dave."

An inquest into David's death is expected to be opened imminently.

David was known to have had ongoing issues accessing help from Corby Council in the months before his death.

A Corby Council spokeswoman said: “Corby Borough Council was regretfully informed of the death of a Corby resident earlier this week.

“The resident was identified as a rough sleeper and the council can confirm that under Covid-19 government guidelines, they were given the appropriate accommodation in order to keep them safe throughout the pandemic.

"The council remains fully committed to ensuring rough sleepers are given every opportunity to abide by government guidelines during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Our thoughts are with the resident’s loved ones.”