Matthew Armstrong was a standout player over many years at the Old Haileybury Football Club. Having played 302 games and kicking 147 goals as an athletic, hard running wingman “Whoppy” is considered one of the club’s greats. Whoppy was as loyal as they come, as well as a fantastic mentor to the younger players coming through the club inevitably leading to his leadership roles both as captain and vice-captain of the senior side. Matty Armstrong was rightfully awarded life membership in 2000 for his playing career that lasted from 1988 to 2005. Today, Whoppy still generously donates his time to helping the club.
Whoppy started his careers at the Bloods straight out of school in the Under 19’s where he was a star! Armstrong finished runner up in the league Best and Fairest for the junior competition in 1989. As his career progressed the awards continued to come. Matt Armstrong is the VAFA record holder for most votes in the A Grade competition Best and Fairest, having twice been runners up and twice placing third in the league Best and Fairest. Furthermore, Whoppy placed second in a B Grade league Best and Fairest as well as the before mentioned Under 19’s second place. His individual accolades are a very long list having represented the Big V twice, once in 1989 in the Under 19’s and then again in 1995 in the senior side. In 2001, Whoppy was named the Old Haileybury’s Senior Best and Fairest. Having received all these personal achievements Whoppy quickly became notorious for his excessively long speeches at presentation nights.
It is obvious that Matthew Armstrong was a talented on field performer, however, his off-field efforts were equally impressive. Whoppy was a football trip enthusiast and was never afraid of a dance floor podium. Alongside his good mate David Connell, these two attended rarely ever missed club functions and were often the last to leave. “Achy Breaky Heart” was one of Whoppy’s favourite anthems and he was never afraid of a Cold Chisel tune.
Whoppy is without a doubt one of the club’s greatest characters and someone who is always willing to help a fellow Blood out. He has established a great network of people through the club and stays in regular contact with many of his teammates.
Currently, Matthew Armstrong is an Executive Director at DPM Financial Services a firm that specialises in educating doctors of Australia to make the right financial decisions and achieve their financial goals.
If you have anyone who has a story our club deserves to hear, get into contact with me and help our former players stay involved.