Matthew Perry Was ‘Doing Really Well’ & ‘Trying To Get People Clean’ Before Sudden Death, Reveals Pickleball Coach

Matthew Perry was focused on fun and sobriety until his very last moments.

The Friends alum’s buddy and pickleball coach, Matt Manasse, told People on Sunday afternoon that the 54-year-old loved what he was doing just hours before his death. According to TMZ‘s initial report, Matthew had been playing pickleball on Saturday for about two hours before returning home to get in the jacuzzi, where it is believed he drowned after a possible cardiac arrest.

That seems to be accurate. And now, reflecting on his pal, Matt explained why pickleball was so important to the Fools Rush In star, sharing:

“He thought it was something that could help with his recovery and he was doing an awesome job. He loved it. He came out five times a week, would always talk about it. [He] got so much better, always made everyone laugh. He was competitive, just a genuine, good guy — caring for everybody.”

Matthew first started playing the sport with Manasse at the Riviera Country Club, a private members club in the Pacific Palisades near where he lived. They later brought “in other people” to play with, including another unnamed female coach at the club, whom the actor was with on Saturday.

Related: Matthew’s ‘Devastating’ Death Has Left The Friends Cast ‘Reeling’

When news broke of the A-lister’s death, Matt immediately called her, he recalled:

“She said, ‘Yeah, he’d come out.’ She didn’t say how long but said he’d been doing really well on court, which wasn’t a surprise.”

Matt, who’s become the “Pickleball Coach to the Stars” thanks to Matthew’s support in the early days, added:

“Pickleball was his outlet. He really looked forward to it. He was a competitive guy, not in a bad way at all. He loved it. He wanted to come out. He wanted to win. He loved it. When he hit an unbelievable shot, he would tell you about it for days.”

It was also an outlet he was hoping to pass on to others looking to get sober since it’s something he used in his own recovery journey after years of struggles with addiction:

“He had so much that he was doing with his rehab facility and trying to get people clean. He would bring them to teach them pickleball. He was just always trying to help people.”

That’s amazing! For someone who admittedly spent $9 million trying to get sober over the years, it’s incredible to hear he was committed to staying on track and helping others do the same. But his support extended beyond just those with addictions.

Recalling how the 17 Again alum had helped him build his reputation as a go-to pickleball coach for Hollywood’s elite, Matt said the Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing author once told him, “Whatever you need. Anything you need, I’m there for you.” This was his attitude all the time, too, the coach continued:

“That was just the kind of guy he was. We went to dinner together. I was over at his place for the Super Bowl. He cared about other people. He was a really good person.”

Describing his pal “Matty” as “a guy that wanted to help people and was selfless,” the athlete concluded:

“He cared about everyone — your day was better when you saw him or when he called. He never missed an opportunity for a funny joke to make you laugh. Just a genuinely amazing person. Everyone should know he had a heart of gold.”

So very sweet.

After all the struggles Matthew faced with substance abuse throughout his life, we’re so glad to hear he was doing well and helping others at the time of his death. Such a shame that he was taken so young…

[Image via MEGA/WENN]

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