Matt and Ashleigh Conwell
Matt and Ashleigh Conwell

Grieving family’s promise after Matt’s ‘snap decision’

Family and friends are rallying around 29-year-old widow Ashleigh Conwell, who is pregnant with triplets, after the shock suicide of her popular Queensland Cricket coach husband.

Matt Conwell died after being hit by a car in Carindale on September 2. He was 32.

Mrs Conwell's sister Emily Fallon said her "very genuine and caring" brother-in-law had been struggling but "it wasn't meant to be this way".

"It was a snap decision, a moment of clouded judgement, and totally out of character," Ms Fallon, 27, said.

"We're just coming together as family and making sure Ashleigh is not alone now and not alone in the future.

"There is a tribe behind her, and there is going to be a village that raises these babies.

"The outpouring of support is a testament to the kind of person Matt was - very non-judgemental, very genuine and caring, an unassuming, quiet person who had time for everyone."

Ms Fallon said Mr Conwell had been struggling under the challenges of COVID-19.

"This year's been tough for everyone, even the strongest people you thought could get through it, and while there were some struggles and stresses there, it just shows suicide doesn't discriminate."

She said the loss "still doesn't seem real" but her sister was improving after being in "severe shock for the first few days".

The Conwells married in 2017 and were together for 12 years, with Ms Fallon describing them as "the perfect couple" with "a strong partnership".

Mrs Conwell's best friend Alex Nesevski said what happened last Wednesday morning was "never in the plan".

"Matt was so excited to meet his babies and go on their journey together, they really were soulmates," Mrs Nesevski said.

"Ashleigh is the strongest woman I know; we want to help her continue Matt's legacy.

"To be having three babies and not to have your husband beside you who you had this dream with, it is absolutely gut-wrenching."

Queensland cricket coach Matt Conwell with wife Ashleigh.
Queensland cricket coach Matt Conwell with wife Ashleigh.

Mr Conwell, a cricket coach and talent specialist with Metropolitan South West and Darling Downs and South West Queensland, was hit by a four-wheel-drive near the intersection of Bedivere St and Meadowlands Rd, Carindale, not far from the couple's Carina home.

Police have confirmed his death was not an accident, describing it as "a very sad incident".

The couple were both impacted by COVID-19 in their jobs (Mrs Conwell is a marketing manager with Flight Centre), Mrs Nesevski said.

"They were already stretching every dollar and budgeting tightly for the arrival of their unexpected but so very wanted 'instant' family."

Matt and Ashleigh pictured in 2013 at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Picture: Tara Croser
Matt and Ashleigh pictured in 2013 at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Picture: Tara Croser

Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said the organisation would support Mr Conwell's wife and family "in any way we can".

"It came as a great shock to his friends and past and present colleagues at Queensland Cricket, many of whom had worked closely with Matt since he started with us, originally in 2009 and again when he rejoined in September 2016," Mr Svenson said.

Distraught members of the Darling Downs association and Redlands Tigers cricket clubs have described Mr "Cozzy" Conwell as "a true gentlemen", a "great advocate for cricket" and "the loveliest bloke; always had a smile on his face and incredible generosity in his heart".

A former strength and conditioning coach for the Brisbane Roar Football Club, Mr Conwell graduated from QUT in 2010 with a bachelor of applied science, human movement, and was schooled at Ormiston College.

Matt Conwell with wife Ashleigh who is pregnant with triplets.
Matt Conwell with wife Ashleigh who is pregnant with triplets.

He met his future wife, then 17 and in Year 12 at Lourdes Hill College, after seeing her on the front page of The Redland Times newspaper and contacting her via social media.

The then Ms Fallon was volunteering at a Leukaemia Foundation fundraiser after losing her grandfather to the disease.

"In some way, it feels like he introduced me to Matt," she said in 2018.

"I wasn't really concerned (that he had contacted me because of the article). I could tell he had a good heart."

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Mrs Nesevski to "help Ashleigh bring her and Matt's little trio into the world and provide a future for them". It had raised more than $85,000 by 3pm Monday.

Originally published as Grieving family's promise after Matt's 'snap decision'

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