Spencer Matthews becomes meotional as he recalls the tragic death of his brother Michael


Spencer Matthews became emotional as he spoke about the death of his brother Michael while he was descending Mount Everest aged 22. 

The former Made In Chelsea star, 34, was only 10 years old when his brother died and admitted he didn’t ‘understand’ he wouldn’t see Michael again at the time.

Speaking on Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast, Spencer discussed the emotions he felt at the time as well as the documentary he is making about his brother.

Tragedy: Spencer Matthews became emotional as he spoke about the death of his brother Michael while he was descending Mount Everest aged 22

Spencer said: ‘I was ten at the time, we were in St. Barts. I was called up to the room and there was clearly something wrong. My parents told me Mike was lost on the mountain and wasn’t coming back. 

‘I didn’t understand death fully then, it didn’t register with me. Mike was my superhero. To me, it just couldn’t be true.’

Spencer told how he was in such shock at the time that it wasn’t until later that he became emotional about his brother’s death.

He said: ‘I remember not even being physically upset because I thought, well that’s nonsense. That’s obviously not true. 

Heartbreaking: The former Made In Chelsea star, 34, was only 10 years old when his brother died (Michael Matthews, 22, (L), with friend Jamie Everet in front of the summit of Everest)

Heartbreaking: The former Made In Chelsea star, 34, was only 10 years old when his brother died (Michael Matthews, 22, (L), with friend Jamie Everet in front of the summit of Everest)

‘As time passed, I realised it was true and that I wouldn’t see him again. At the time, that was very difficult.’

Spencer added: ‘The film, which comes out in March, explores us trying to bring his body home.

Elsewhere during the chat, Spencer said he will raise his three children Theodore, four, Gigi, two, and Otto, nine months, to be open about their emotions.

He said: ‘When I was growing up crying was perceived to be very weak in my family. Weakness was simply not allowed. I won’t do that with my kids.’ 

The businessman is said to be ‘hugely passionate’ about the film, which will see him retrace the steps of his sibling, who tragically died aged 22.

Family: Spencer previously described his brother (left next to sibling James) as an 'incredible force of nature'

Family: Spencer previously described his brother (left next to sibling James) as an ‘incredible force of nature’

Spencer is said to have the backing of his parents and his brother James, 34, who is married to the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton, to create the ’emotional’ project, which will see Spencer visit his final resting place.

According to The Sun, Spencer is intent on bringing his brother’s body home, and a source said: ‘Spencer’s documentary about Michael and his final days is at the very early stages and Disney+ have shown an interest.

‘Though the Matthews family were never able to recover Michael’s body, there is a guide who believes they know his final resting place.

‘It is a hugely emotional project and will be a very upsetting journey for many reasons, but Spencer is hugely passionate about embarking on it if he can make it work.’

Experienced mountineer Michael, who had previously conquered Kilimanjaro, died in 1999 on a quest that saw him become the youngest Brit to conquer Everest. He was the 162nd person to die on Everest. 

Spencer said: 'My parents told me Mike was lost on the mountain and wasn't coming back. 'I didn't understand death fully then'

Spencer said: ‘My parents told me Mike was lost on the mountain and wasn’t coming back. ‘I didn’t understand death fully then’

Although Michael reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain, he became separated from his group during the route down the mountain.

Michael’s body has never been recovered and the Matthews’ family have never been able to fully understand what happened to him. 

Michael was an accomplished climber who had scaled the Pyrenees, the Swiss Alps and Kilimanjaro before he went on to attempt his fateful Everest trek, which cost around £22,000, using a climbing company.

After leading the group, the rest of the climbing pack claimed he began to struggle near the end and on their descent, a storm with 100mph winds hit leading to Michael’s separation from the group. 

David Matthews, the millionaire patriarch of the family, has always vowed the negligence of the mountain guides was to blame for his death.

He brought a private case against three men working for the firm amid claims the safety briefings were inadequate, his oxygen supply was faulty and the guides failed to keep Michael in their sights during the climb. 

Adventurer: Michael Matthews was an accomplished climber who had scaled the Pyrenees, the Swiss Alps and Kilimanjaro before he went on to attempt his fateful Everest trek

Adventurer: Michael Matthews was an accomplished climber who had scaled the Pyrenees, the Swiss Alps and Kilimanjaro before he went on to attempt his fateful Everest trek

The case was dismissed as the judge insisted there was no evidence of negligence. 

Spencer and his family have since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for The Michael Matthews Foundation, created in Michael’s memory to support education projects in Africa and Asia. 

Spencer previously entered the Ice Ultra, which is a 230km self sufficient foot race (carrying all food and equipment) through the mountains of Arctic Sweden.

In Spencer’s 2013 book Confessions of a Chelsea Boy: The Autobiography, he discussed the devastating loss of his sibling.   

Speaking about the family, including his other brother James, he said: ‘His loss was devastating for the family and over time this became worse because the circumstances surrounding Michael’s death have never been fully explained.

‘James took the news badly. With just a year and a half between them, he and Mike were the closest of friends. The loss was heartbreaking for James.’

Candid: Spencer told how he was in such shock at the time that it wasn't until later that he became emotional about his brother's death

Candid: Spencer told how he was in such shock at the time that it wasn’t until later that he became emotional about his brother’s death

Of the unanswered questions surrounding the death, Spencer went on: ‘We have not been able to say goodbye in person. We have nowhere to go to sit with him. 

‘He lives on with us in our minds only. On Mike’s birthday James and I send mum and dad red roses for the age he would have been. I guess our family’s way of dealing with losing Mike is to believe that he goes on with us.’ 

In a 2001 Guardian article on the tragedy, Spencer and Michael’s father David explained how he originally trained with his son and his colleague Jamie Everett for the Everest expedition.

David was forced to drop out of the climb after a training climb up Aconcagua  where he discovered that surgery he had had on his carotid artery prevented him from climbing well at altitude.  

Royal connections: Spencer's older brother James is married to Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge (pictured with Michael, Carole and James Middleton)

Royal connections: Spencer’s older brother James is married to Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge (pictured with Michael, Carole and James Middleton)



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