The commitment and care of Wanderers’ head physiotherapist Matt Barrass has been recognised in the shape of a leading award named in honour of former Whites’ midfielder Fabrice Muamba.
Barrass received the Fabrice Muamba Award for Outstanding Service to Football Medicine and Performance at the North West Football Awards.
The 41-year-old, who has been with Wanderers since July, 2016, was recognised for his “support of the players through some turbulent times at the club, as well as through the pandemic, being the club’s Covid lead.”
Having come to Wanderers with Phil Parkinson, Barrass (pictured above with Muamba and photographer Sharon Latham) was involved in a promotion success to the Championship in 2017.
He then continued to give outstanding service to the playing staff in the tough times that followed on and off the field – including a spell in administration – before the successful Sharon Brittan-led rescue of the club in 2019.
Following the departure of Parkinson, Barrass worked under managerial successor Keith Hill before staying on as integral part of Ian Evatt’s backroom staff and sharing in last season’s promotion success from League Two.
“It’s nice to win it and they have given the award to me but it’s down to a lot of people here; the docs Dave (Humphreys) and Justin (Tankard) and Kat (assistant physio Kat Waring) and some people who have left. We have some good staff here,” said Barrass.
“I think we do provide a good medical service with what we’ve got, with the facilities and the staffing levels.
“I think it’s a nod to that, that we’ve managed to carry on doing what we’re doing even at different points in the past few years when things have been whatever they’ve been.
“We’ve managed to dig in there and look after the lads as best as possible, which we are continuing to do in better times for the club.”
The award Barrass received at a presentation night at the Old Trafford cricket ground is named after Muamba, the former midfielder, whose career was ended by a cardiac arrest suffered while playing for Wanderers at Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.
Evatt was short-listed for the North-West Manager-of-the-Year award for leading Wanderers to promotion last season but missed out to Blackpool boss Neil Critchley, who took the Tangerines up to the Championship in his first full season in charge.