Hampson took up rugby as a 5-year old for Oakham, joining Syston when he was 12. He joined Leicester Tigers academy at the under 16 age group and was made an apprentice for the 2001/2 season. He was regarded as a promising prop and made a few appearances for Leicester's first team.
Hampson's accident happened on Tuesday 15 March 2005 when the England under 21 team were preparing for an under 21 Six Nations match against Scotland. In what he described as a freak accident, a scrum collapsed and dislocated his neck. Referee and former paramedic Tony Spreadbury was praised for his quick reaction to stabilise Hampson's neck.
Hampson requires support and an estimated £8 million over his lifetime. The rugby union community have reacted by auctioning off sports memorabilia and holding benefit matches. Both the senior England and Scotland teams donated their shirts from their senior 2005 Six Nations match.
On 28 May 2007 a charity match dubbed the 'Matt Hampson Bowl' was played between the Loughborough Aces college American Football team, and the Leicester Panthers American football team, with all proceeds being donated to the Matt Hampson Trust. The Panthers, who featured many former players including former England Rugby captain Martin Johnson ran out 20-3 winners.
A charity rally due to go ahead in August 2008 will also raise money for the trust as well as spinal research http://leicestertoathens2008.co.uk
Matt divides his time between raising money for spinal care both for himself and others, and spinal research, coaching youngsters at Oakham School, writing a column for the Leicester Mercury's Sporting Green and physiotherapy sessions. He is particularly supported by his sister Amy, her boyfriend Adam Wheatley and former England U21 captain Matt Cornwell.