Football world pays tribute to Luton Town fan Mat Westwood, 35, as he dies of cancer

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Mat Westwood with his wife Lizzie and son Alfie at the Luton Town training ground Credit: Family picture

The footballing world is paying tribute to a young dad who has died of cancer.

Mat Westwood, 35, from Kettering, was a lifelong Luton Town fan and had been supported by the club as he battled the disease.

His sister Jo posted news of his death on Twitter yesterday saying he had gone downhill very quickly, but was comfortable and peaceful and had his family around him.

She thanked Luton Town for all they had done for him.

The club tweeted out a tribute, dedicating their win over Swansea on Saturday to him.

At the start of the season, Luton arranged for Mr Westwood's son Alfie, 11, to be the game mascot against Birmingham on July 30.

On the 35th minute, fans stood to applaud his father in an emotional show of support for the family.

Mat Westwood, his wife Lizzie and son Alfie with Mick Harford and Nathan Jones Credit: Luton Town

The day before, Mr Westwood, his wife Lizzie and Alfie were invited to Luton's training ground at The Brache to meet club stars and watch the final session before the first game.

Mr Westwood tweeted pictures of him and his family with Luton legends Mick Harford and Nathan Jones.

Mr Westwood, who watched his first Hatters game in 1996, was diagnosed with the skin cancer malignant melanoma on his left leg five years ago.

Despite lots of treatment he was recently told the cancer had spread to his lung, brain and liver.

Mr Westwood, who used to work in the Kenilworth Road ticket office, had been travelling from Kettering for the last eight years to watch matches with his family since moving north from Harlington.

His sister Joanna has been doing a running challenge throughout August to raise money for Cancer Research UK in her brother's name.

Jo said on Facebook she had continued with the challenge on the day her brother died, though it was the hardest run she had ever done.

"We’re all utterly devastated. I didn’t know whether to do today's run but Mat absolutely would want me to. So here we go. My fastest run yet, just for you little bro."

Earlier this month, the family had been on a holiday to the seaside which had to be cut short when he fell ill.

Mat Westwood and his wife Lizzie on their last holiday together Credit: Mat Westwood