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Folk group meet West Hampstead man whose partner’s suicide inspired song

PUBLISHED: 17:41 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:53 24 August 2017

Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes, Matthew Ogston and David Eagle (left to right) at Nazim Mahmood's memorial bench at Hampstead cemetery Picture: Nathan Louis

Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes, Matthew Ogston and David Eagle (left to right) at Nazim Mahmood's memorial bench at Hampstead cemetery Picture: Nathan Louis

Archant

A man who lost his partner to suicide in 2014 and a band who wrote a song about the couple have met for the first time in an emotional encounter.

Matthew Ogston met The Young’uns, a folk band from Teeside at Hampstead cemetery on August 23, at the memorial bench for Nazim Mahmood.

Three years ago on July 30, Nazim, Matt’s partner of 13 years, jumped to his death after his family found out that he was gay. The tragedy spurred Matt on to create a foundation to try and prevent people from going through similar circumstances.

The Young’uns are a three piece trio.‘Be the Man’ is their tribute to Matt and Naz. Sean Cooney from the folk band said he hopes the song will breed hope and said they were delighted to finally meet Matt.

He said: “We heard about it for the first time in an article and we thought Matt’s interview was so honest and graceful. I knew we wanted to write a song about this. It took me a while to tell Matt that we had written a song about Naz but he was wonderful and so gracious with his response.

Matt spoke about how perfect the song was even though he had never met Sean or his fellow band members David Eagle and Michael Hughes. “My favourite line is ‘when his brown eyes first met mine, I knew he was the one’. The lyrics feel so accurate to the work of our foundation and its phenomenal to hear a song about Naz. It was so heartwarming, so wonderful, so special to meet them,” Matt said.

The Young’uns, who have won consecutive BBC radio 2 folk awards, first performed ‘Be the Man’ in the UK at Glastonbury this year. Matt will be a special guest when they perform at the Union Chapel on October 12.

The Naz and Matt foundation which was set up in 2014 has one simple motto - to not let religion come between unconditional love and Matt works with LGBT people to ensure that they have someone to talk to if they feel they can’t talk to their family.

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