Matthew Jacques, 6, who inspired North Haven community, passes away

In a span of a week, the North Haven football community has dealt with both triumph and tragedy.

The Indians recorded one of the program’s biggest victories after it knocked off then No. 2 Xavier, 42-28, this past Friday. But then word spread early Thursday morning that Matthew Jacques, a 6 year old who attended Montowese School, had passed away.

Matthew was born with a complex congenital heart defect. He received a new heart last month but died from complications from the transplant.

Paul C. Jacques, Matthew’s grandfather, posted this message on Facebook:

“This morning (Thursday) at about 3AM I received the sad news that my grand-son MATTHEW JACQUES passed on.  He was a brave young boy who at 6years old taught the world to have courage, strength love and faith. You made this world a better place Matty…for me,our family and the rest of the people you touched! I know you are in a better place ……….love you always,   Poppy!”

Matthew inspired the North Haven community. Proceeds from North Haven’s annual Spring Brawl game went to the Jacques’ family. The game raised $9,000, and this past week Xavier presented North Haven with a check for $1,800 as a donation to the Matthew Jacques Foundation.

North Haven coach Anthony Sagnella said he leaned about Matthew’s passing this morning.

“We’re dealing with it now,” Sagnella said. “We had a team meeting this morning and I told them that we’re a family, that we’re a tight-knit group of men and that we need each other to lean now. Some kids are struggling with it right now. I told them to keep the Jacques family in their thoughts and prayers, and that we’re not equipped to know why, but know that Matthew is in a better place.”

Sagnella said the team will meet with a social worker later Thursday. North Haven’s game at East Haven on Friday is on as scheduled.

“Matt would want us to play,” Sagnella said. “He loved football, and he would want us to play and the family would want us to play.”

Services have yet to be finalized, but Sagnella said the team will attend. Since the season started, each player has wore a “MJ” emblem on their helmets and the coaches have sported a “MJ” button on their clothing. Posters have been set up in the school cafeteria where students can write messages on.

Below is a video of Matthew scoring a touchdown during the Spring Brawl game.


  1. JK says

    From the Xavier community, we are very sad to hear the news about Matthew. Our prayers go out to the Jacques family and the North Haven community.

  2. Rob (On Connecticut's East Coast) says

    I certainly lack the position to speak for a community, however as a Ledyard resident and a transplant to this state by way of the US Navy I wish to the men and football family in New Haven my deepest condolences. I can see how such a bright personality that Matthew was inspired and bonded the team earlier this year. Heal up men, he’ll be watching how you perform; make him proud.

  3. Molly McKenna says

    My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Matthew’s family. What a brave and inspiring little boy who captured the heart of North Haven and beyond. I am glad to have sent the video to Good Morning America so that he could touch the lives of so many more!! The heavens are ringing in its new little angel.

  4. Bob purcell. says

    When we are born we are crying and sad and those around us are smiling and happy. When we die, those around us are crying and sad and we are smiling and happy. Trust that God knows what he is doing and he took Mathew for just the right reason

    • Tom Reid says

      Amen Bob, it i s not ours to know why the Lord does what he does. Matthew is smiling down on us this day. We will shake his hand some day

  5. Kevin says

    So precious ,little mathew my you rest in peace and your family find comfort that our lord and savior Jesus Christ will have his angels wrap three wings around little mathew ,GOD BLESS !!!!

  6. Curt Andrews says

    The Jacques family has dealt with so much over the last 20 years. Jordan has inspired all of us with his courage and determination and Matty touched all of us in his brief time here. His touchdown run was so awesome. The North Haven football players and coaches showed so much compassion and encouragement to Matty and learned valuable lessons about life beyond football. Thank you guys. Paul and family, My thoughts and prayers are with you still.

  7. Dawnm says

    My heart breaks for the Jacques family! I remember Matthew as a smiling, happy, loving young boy at North Havens preschool program. Prayers and sympathy to his entire family!

  8. Al Jacques says

    Thank all of you for your support… Matty was and is an inspiration to all. I didn’t just lose my son,I also lost my best friend.. Mommy and Daddy Love You Matty.. Always and Forever..


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