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Matthew (“Matt”) Leighton’s first sporting memories come from being carried around the 1969 British Open Golf Championship at Lytham and St Annes as a four-year-old on his Grandpa’s shoulders, watching Tony Jackliin record the first home victory in 18 years. Since then Matt has been hooked on watching top class sport.
He was born and brought up in the middle of nowhere in rural north Yorkshire, surrounded by sheep, dogs and horses. He studied business and finance in London, followed by 10 years working in the City as a stockbroker and currency trader.
Matt moved to Switzerland 15 years ago after the building he was working in was blown up by the IRA. A life-changing experience followed a few more years working in finance in Geneva. After spending time living and horse-riding with nomads in outer Mongolia, Matt turned his back on high finance and looked for a more meaningful challenge in life. After a spell working with Reuters, Matt became WRG’s sport journalist in 2005.
In addition to presenting daily reports and reporting on major sporting events, he keeps WRS listeners informed about the Swiss mountain snow conditions in winter.
As a freelance broadcast journalist, Matt has reported live from major sporting events, including America’s Cup sailiing, tennis from the US Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Working for the International Tennis Federation, he once interviewed Roger Federer six times in three days, and was also the English teacher of Swiss number 2 tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka. Matt was the stadium announcer at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France (Scotland versus Italy), as well as in the Stade de Genève for the three Euro 2008 Football matches.