King boys always special
CASINO Cougars stalwart Andrew Bartlett knew they had something special when the King brothers started playing at the club.
Bartlett coached Chris and Andrew and oversaw Matt from under-7s to under-16s.
He also taught Matt at St Mary's Catholic College in Casino.
"Matt showed a lot of skill in basketball and rugby league," Bartlett said.
"He was a genuinely nice kid and someone you would want as a friend.
"He was a team player who worked hard to get to the top."
King finished high school at St John's College in Woodlawn when it was still a boarding school
He was coached by Michael Woods and played under-18s and first grade for Marist Brothers in Lismore.
King lined up for Brothers in the 1999 grand final when they beat Casino.
Fast forward 14 years and primary schools in Casino now contest the Matty King Shield which started in 2011.
King was playing in England at the time and missed the inaugural carnival but made it back in 2012.
"He still has friends in Casino who he keeps in contact with," Bartlett said.
"He was humbled to have a shield named after him and the kids love him here.
"We had about 300 kids go up to the last Souths and Titans game on the Gold Coast.
"He was waving to them in the warm-up and came back and saw everyone after the game. "Matt still has family in Casino and his nephew Noah has that same sort of style run."