Global press hail Matt’s masterstroke

Matt and Julie Muircroft
Matt and Julie Muircroft

A Motherwell decorator’s elaborate act of devotion for his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has made news headlines all over the world.

Matt Muircroft (75) and his wife Jean have lived down south for decades, but the couple recently moved back to Motherwell so they could be among family members for close support.

And when Matt discovered that Alzheimer’s sufferers benefit from being among familiar surroundings he used all of his considerable skill to recreate as closely as possible the decor of their Berkshire home in a Motherwell tower block flat - right down to ornaments and photographs on the mantlepiece.

Coming at the same time as worldwide attention for Motherwell as a centre of excellence for intelligent Alzheimer’s care, the story was followed up in newspapers and on websites as far away as Russia, Japan and Australia.

The story has also inspired hundreds of internet comments from wellwishers across the globe.

Matt, who has requested privacy, learned from Alzheimer Scotland that big changes in surroundings can cause anxiety in people affected by dementia.

So, the expert tradesman - who painted sections of St George’s Chapel for Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones’s wedding - used his craft to replicate the decor of his former home to the finest detail.

Matt explained: “My sole focus in life now is looking after Julie.

“When a family friend told me people from all over the world have been posting messages – and I’d even made news in China – I thought he was pulling my leg.

“I’ve not got a computer so it’s hard to comprehend there are so many over the world who’ve taken an interest.

“It’s never been about me – and it never will be. It’s about love and I just want to do all I can to help my wife. It’s that simple.”