North West chef Matt Campbell, 29, tragically died after collapsing during the London marathon
Runners across the UK are pledging to finish the race of North West chef Matt Campbell, who tragically died after collapsing at the 22.5 mile mark of the London marathon on Sunday 22 April.
A Facebook page called 'Finish for Matt', which asks people to run his final 3.7 miles, has gathered over 6000 members.
The Facebook page asks those taking part to donate £5 to the chef's JustGiving page, which has soared to over £130k since he passed away - over 5000% of what he aimed to raise for the Cumbrian-based youth charity, the Brathay Trust.
He will always be remembered for producing some of the most innovative and groundbreaking food that we saw on the series
Campbell, 29, a private chef working in the Lake District and a semi-finalist on last year's Masterchef: The Professionals, was running the London marathon in memory of his late father, and had completed the Manchester marathon just weeks earlier.
Following the Manchester marathon, Campbell wrote on social media:
‘I am loving life right now, saying yes to every challenge. Thank you to my friends and family for always supporting me and giving me the confidence to just go for it.
‘Running has been amazing for me over the past two years, considering I only ran my first marathon 20 months ago, it’s helped me through grief, helped me destress, helped me process information after a long day and helped me menu plan!
‘Onto @londonmarathon in 2 weeks time!’
The chef's tragic passing comes just weeks after he hosted a successful evening at Manchester’s Real Junk Food project, feeding 45 guests an inventive fine dining menu comprised off food which would have otherwise gone to waste.
Speaking about his time on the show, a spokesperson for Masterchef said: "(Matt) will always be remembered for producing some of the most innovative and groundbreaking food that we saw on the series."
We are stunned and humbled by the outpouring of love
Campbell cut his culinary teeth at L'Enclume, Simon Rogan's Michelin-starred restaurant in Cartmel - once voted the best restaurant in the UK.
Paying tribute, Rogan said: "Matt worked with us a long time ago, but he showed a lot of promise, was always very inquisitive and had a nice touch. Our whole team are very sorry to hear of his passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
In a statement, the Brathay charity said: "Matt gave so much to Brathay and the young people we work with. We are stunned and humbled by the outpouring of love and support in his memory on his JustGiving page, creating a lasting legacy allowing us to reach many more young people.”
The cause of Campbell's death has not yet been confirmed.
Those wishing to take part in the run should use the hashtag #FinishForMatt, and those wanting to donate should visit the chef's JustGiving page.