Reflections on Matthew Perry’s “Heart of Gold” from His Pickleball Coach

Just hours before his death, Matthew Perry was doing what he loved.

Now, his pickleball instructor is telling how important the popular sport was to the actor, who died on Saturday at the age of 54. Matt Manasse, who has known the Friends actor for two years, says it served as an outlet and a tool for him during his sober journey.

He felt it was something that could help with his recovery, and he was doing an awesome job, said Manasse, who is 35 years old. He adored it. He came out five times a week and never stopped talking about it. He improved so much and constantly made everyone laugh. He was competitive, but he was also a real, wonderful man who cared about everyone.

Manasse, known as the “Pickleball Coach to the Stars,” trains customers at the Riviera Country Club, a private members club in Pacific Palisades near the actor’s home in Los Angeles.

Perry played a match there just hours before he was discovered dead at his adjacent house. Manasse was not surprised to see his pal on the court that morning. Actually, he was told that the actor, whose cause of death is unknown, was “doing really well.”

“When I first started playing pickleball [with him], it was just Matthew and [me],” he adds. Then we’d bring in more individuals.” Manasse claims that the actor enjoyed playing at the Riviera with another instructor. On Saturday, she was Perry’s pickleball partner, and she was the first person Manasse called after learning of the star’s death.

“‘Yeah, he’d come out,’ she added. She didn’t specify how long, but she did mention he’d been performing well on the court, which wasn’t surprising.”

“Pickleball was his outlet,” Manasse continues. He was quite excited about it. He was a competitive man, but not in a negative way. He adored it. He desired to be seen. He was determined to win. He adored it. When he hit a spectacular shot, he would brag about it for days.”

Manasse claims Perry, who was honest about his years-long addiction to alcohol and pharmaceutical pills, utilized pickleball to stay clean and aid others with their own recovery.

He had so much that he was doing with his rehab facility and trying to get people clean, Manasse said. He’d bring them over to teach them pickleball. He was continuously attempting to assist others.

That includes Manasse, who was attempting to establish himself as the go-to pickleball teacher as the game gained popularity among Hollywood’s elite. He claims Perry was eager to help him, telling him, “Whatever you need, I’m there for everything you require.”

“That was just the kind of guy he was,” Manasse explains. “We all went out to dinner together.” I was at his house for the Super Bowl. He was concerned about other people. He was a wonderful individual.”

The coach, who last spoke to his buddy “Matty” a week before the star’s death, says he wants people to understand that “Matty” was “a guy who wished to help people and was selfless.”

“He cared about everyone—your day was better when you saw him or when he called,” that’s what he stated. “He never missed an opportunity to make you laugh with a funny joke.”Simply put, he is a fantastic person. Everyone should know he has a kind heart.”

Share this with your friends by clicking below!

Hank Azaria’s Tribute to Matthew Perry: ‘We Were Really More Like Brothers’

Ina Garten Expresses Her Ever-Growing Love for Jeffrey on His 77th Birthday