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Villains Wiki
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Raise the stakes, to finish the game!
~ Matthew Rose to his former boss-turned-enemy, Steve Owen, as he takes revenge on the latter over the murder of Steve's ex-girlfriend Saskia Duncan, whom Steve had killed before framing Matthew for the crime.
I'm better than you think...I'm smart enough to know... that a gun without bullets isn't much of a threat. Then that's how I've been busy, think about it. If I can break into your flat, then I can break into here... you still fancy the odds?
~ Matthew standing up against Steve Owen with an unloaded gun during their showdown.

Matthew Rose is a villainous major protagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders. He served as a central character in 1997-1998 and one of the main protagonists in 1999-2000, as well as a mentioned character in 2018.

In his most notable storyline, Matthew had briefly worked for nightclub owner Steve Owen until the latter killed his ex-girlfriend Saskia Duncan in self-defense. Steve thereafter coerced Matthew into covering up the crime before framing him for Saskia's murder, which consequently led to Matthew being wrongfully imprisoned for the crime. Eventually, he is released for good behaviour and ultimately takes revenge on Steve before exiting the show.

He was portrayed by Joe Absolom.


Matthew Rose, starts off as an ordinary teen who is not pleased to meet his father Michael Rose, suddenly walks away from him.

Matthew meets shady businessman, part-time mobster and nightclub owner Steve Owen who's looking to buy CD's from his business. Steve buys a club in Albert Square renaming it "e20" where Matthew is offered a job to play DJ's at the clubs during the night times.

Steve is not impressed when he sees his ex-girlfriend Saskia Duncan, who's always causing trouble around his way. One night, Steve tries to get Saskia out of the club but is hit over the head with a bottle, trying to strangle Steve to death but is stopped by Matthew who shows up out of the blue trying to intervene but is pushed away until Steve hits Saskia over the head with an ashtray, killing her. Steve tells Matthew to not phone the police and they plan to bury Saskia's dead body in Epping Forrest.

Matthew is arrested by the police who's trying to escape at the airport since Steve phoned them and is suddenly arrested as well. During trial, Steve confesses to the judge that Matthew enjoyed killing her, Matthew who's angered inside by his shocking statement. Steve is pleaded "not-guilty" for the murder. However, in a huge twist reveal, Matthew is pleaded guilty for the crime, with his father Matthew anguish by saying "He is innocent! My son is innocent! You call this justice?".

Life behind bars grows tough on Matthew but is helped by cellmates telling him to toughen up. Matthew is not happy to see Steve in prison for being accused of shooting Phil Mitchell back in Albert Square. Matthew punches Steve to admit the truth but is pulled back by security guards. Matthew is later beaten up with blood covered on his face, as Steve tries helping him out but Matthew accuses him for beating him up before Steve is taken away back to his cell by the guards.

The search team find an ashtray in the room where Saskia was killed. They identify the fingerprints belonging to Steve Owen. Matthew is finally released from prison. Arriving back to the square fresh out of prison for a murder he didn't commit, Matthew ignores Steve at his party and begins to plot his revenge against Steve once and for all.

Steve find his club vandalized and sees a tagging written on a wall saying "Dead Man Walking!". As the final showdown occurs, Matthew finally confronts Steve at his office. Steve draws a pistol from his safe, intimidating Matthew but is stopped by him when he reveals all the bullets to his gun, conspiring against him. Steve, rushes at Matthew throws him to the ground, but is knocked out unconscious by him with a blunt weapon. Matthew prepares to tie Steve to a chair with cello tape.

Steve continue to beg for his life as Matthew is about to kill him with gasoline and a lighter. However, inside the gas tank contains water who was only scaring Steve, ultimately gaining the upper-hand against him. With Teresa by his side, she asks him to stay but Matthew refuses and plans to live somewhere else away from Steve, knowing Albert Square will bring back bad memories for him. Matthew packs his bags, leaving Steve's nightclub and is never seen again afterwards.

After the death of Steve who was killed in a car explosion while trying to kidnap Louise as a little baby, Matthew Rose sends a letter to his grave saying "Dear Steve, rot in hell!"


  • Television Viewers were angered and disgusted over Matthew's guilty verdict. This is how the campaign of "Free Matthew Rose" officially began.
  • Joe Absolom won an award for his portrayal of Matthew Rose.