Tribute to life of Matthew Ebbs - co-founder of Scunthorpe charity Magic Moments
THE co-founder of Scunthorpe charity Magic Moments has been described as a gentleman following his death.
Matthew Ebbs, 72, was the co-founder of the charity, which supports autistic children and their families.
Mr Ebbs died of lung cancer at Scunthorpe General Hospital on January 24 – a day before what would have been his 49th wedding anniversary.
The charity leader previously served in the Army and the RAF and also worked at the Lysaghts steelworks in Scunthorpe.
His wife Pat Ebbs, the other founder of Magic Moments, said Mr Ebbs was a true gentleman.
The 70-year-old, from Anderson Road in Scunthorpe, said: "You can always tell a good man and I had the best.
"He was definitely a rebel when he was young. He was very, very cheeky and he kept making rude remarks about blonde people.
"I'm a natural blonde and he said something very cheeky.
"He had a very dry sense of humour.
Mr Ebbs was born in Edinburgh in 1946 and he lived in Leith, attending school in Edinburgh.
Mrs Ebbs met Matthew in the Army in June 1963 when she was working as a clerk.
They met at Tidworth in Wiltshire, where they were both stationed at the time.
They married in January 1964 at the South Leith Parish Church in Edinburgh.
Mrs Ebbs said: "He was a very proud Scot.
"There were three things that were important in Matthew's life: his family, Magic Moments and Manchester United.
"He also cared about his friends.
"He has walked over glass and fire for the charity.
"Our memories of Matt are amazing."
Mr Ebbs joined the Army in 1958 and served with the 1st Batallion Royal Scots until 1964, when he went to work on the blast furnaces in Lysaghts for two years.
Mr Ebbs joined the RAF following this, during a chance encounter.
Mrs Ebbs said: "One day we went to Lincoln and we were walking past the RAF place.
"He just walked in and joined up.
"He said 'I can't cope not being in the services' and joined the RAF.
"I didn't mind him joining. When you love somebody, you do whatever they want you to do."
Mr Ebbs served in Berlin three times while in the Armed Forces.
The couple's first child, Gary, was born in the British Military Hospital in Berlin.
He served in the RAF from 1966 to 1982, before returning to Lysaghts.
Mr Ebbs' sister Helen Anderson obtained a flag of the Royal Scots – where Matthew served – which was draped over his coffin.
He will also be commemorated in a special book that is being put together about the Royal Scots.
Magic Moments was set up in 2002, following the birth of Mr Ebbs' granddaughter Hope.
She was diagnosed with autism and this led both Mr and Mrs Ebbs to identify other autistic children in the area and form the charity.
Mr Ebbs is survived by his two daughters Lisa and Alyson, son Gary and five grandchildren, Hope, Ross, Paige, Courtney and Ellie.
Matthew's funeral took place at Woodlands Crematorium on Tuesday, February 12 at 1pm.
Donations can be sent to Magic Moments.