An article from Saturday’s match day programme against Galway United.
As today’s match sees the conclusion of Matthew’s testimonial season , it is time to reflect on what has been a very successful and enjoyable twelve months.
To launch the testimonial season, two metal pin badges were produced. These badges proved so popular that the initial supply of one thousand sold within weeks. Due to the unprecedented demand for these badges, a second batch was produced and thank you to Sam Johnston for his help in designing these badges.
The Vice-Presidents golf day kicked events off back in September. Although first team players were not able to participate in the event, appreciation is extended to those involved in the golf day for the very generous donation.
The Matthew Clarke Testimonial Gala Dinner was held in October at The Europa Hotel and was without doubt the highlight of the year. Nearly three hundred and fifty supporters, friends and family paid tribute to Matthew’s ten years stellar service to Linfield, including nearly one hundred who travelled from West Tyrone. The evening commenced with Matthew being led into the packed room by a piper and a video of some of his highlights from his Linfield career was shown. Thanks to Francie Strain and Jamesy Robertson respectively. The evening which was expertly compered by Joel Taggart included various guest speakers and tributes to Matthew,  a very successful auction and concluded with live entertainment. Those fortunate to be present, enjoyed an excellent four course dinner. One lucky guest won a top of the range gents Tag Heuer watch ,very generously donated by an anonymous sponsor. Thanks to all who contributed to such a wonderful evening.
Thanks to the kind generosity of fifty sponsors , the Matthew Clarke Testimonial 2024 calendar was produced.
In early December , the ‘full house’ sign was up in The Lisburn 1st Blues clubhouse for a Comedy Night starring Paddy McDonnell, Aaron Butler and Tommy McCarthy. Thanks to the Lisburn club for hosting this event with such professionalism.
On the Friday night before Christmas, prior to our home match with Coleraine,  a packed Joe Bambrick Suite enjoyed a Q & A session with David Jeffrey MBE. Many thanks to Drew McCoubrey who conducted the interview, Michael Jones who sponsored the event and to The Mad Hatter for providing the food. 
The lucky winner of the first prize of the Boxing Day Ballot 2023 ‘took home’ a great prize of £500.
Over a hundred members of The Linfield Family including many players, ex players and staff enjoyed a fantastic night of fun and competitiveness at the quiz night held in late January. After seven rounds of questions and a tie breaker, ‘Hec’s Heros’ were declared the eventual winners. Special thanks to the Jumna Street Social Club for the use of their excellent facilities and to quiz master Peter Mullan for all his hard work in conducting the quiz with such humour.
Many thanks to those who contributed to or attended The Big Poker Night in February and to 1st Raven Linfield Supporters Club and The Raven Social Club for hosting the event.
It was always the intention of Matthew and his testimonial committee to bring an event ‘home’ to Co.Tyrone and on St Patrick’s Day, a Killen Rangers X1 V Linfield Legends game took place at The Village Ground Killen in Co. Tyrone. A massive thank you to all who contributed to Matthew’s special day, one I know that he will never forget. A special mention to Gary Hull who refereed  the game and also supplied the tickets and ballots for all the events during the year.
The widespread support Matthew has received has been immense and a huge thank you is due to everyone who contributed in many different ways. Massive thanks also to the following supporters clubs which donated so generously, some even running their own tribute nights for Matthew:
1st South Belfast
Co. Armagh
East End
Jumna Street
Lisburn 1st Blues
1st Raven LSC
Steeple True Blues
York Star
Thank you to the Linfield Board for their generous donation and support during the season. A special mention to the anonymous donor of three high profile English Premiership shirts which raised substantial funds as auction items and ballot prizes.
Massive thanks to all those involved in today’s testimonial match against Galway Utd and to those who made the production of the souvenir match day programme possible, including the LST which sponsored the publication.  Thanks to those supporters who sponsored the specially produced shirts worn by the players today and to Gary Eccles for all his assistance. Appreciation is also extended to Galway United for providing the opposition in today’s game as Linfield prepare for the Conference League opener on July 11.
(I have genuinely tried my best to include every relevant individual or club in this article but should I have unintentionally forgotten anyone, please accept my apologies)
Organising events like the above do not come without a lot of hard work from a lot of committed people. I would like to take this opportunity  to pay a massive thank you to my colleagues in the testimonial committee, every member with their own individual skills worked harmoniously together. A special thanks to Jamie Mulgrew, having another team member on the committee has been invaluable.
It has been an honour and a privilege for each and everyone of us to serve on Matthew’s testimonial committee and we all extend to him sincere best wishes for the future, both on and off the pitch. No doubt for many of us, Livingston will become our ‘second team’ in Scotland.
Ivan Ogborn (Secretary).
Paul Weir (Chairman)
Glenn Meikle(Treasurer)
Johnny Adams
Aaron Butler
John Hewitt
Jonathan Lamont
Rab McKelvey
Jamie Mulgrew