Entertainment

MasterChef pays tribute to ex-contestant who died in London Marathon

Matt Campbell was a semi-finalist in MasterChef: The Professionals in 2017.

MasterChef has paid tribute to a former star of the BBC show who died after taking part in the London Marathon.

Matt Campbell, 29, who completed the Manchester Marathon in under three hours just earlier this month, was a semi-finalist in MasterChef: The Professionals in 2017.

He died after collapsing while running in Sunday’s London Marathon, the hottest ever.

His exact cause of death is yet to be established.

Words can’t describe how honoured and humbled I feel to be asked to run this year’s @londonmarathon on behalf of @brathaychallenges/@brathaytrust and in memory of my Father, Martin Campbell. ☺️ – It's been almost 18 months since I lost my Dad and this has been the most challenging period of my life. One thing that has helped me immensely is running and he inspired me to undertake my first marathon (Brathay) in 2016. – I would never have believed 2 years on I would have the opportunity to represent such an incredible charity at such a prestigious event. Fundraising for Brathay with the proceeds going towards their memorial appeal in my Father’s name. – Today I turn 29 and couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. – Any donations what so ever will be truly appreciated. The link to my JustGiving page is in my bio. 2 marathons in 2 weeks, here we go. 🙃#teamcameradude

A post shared by Matt Campbell (@mattsoire) on

A spokeswoman for MasterChef said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear the news about Matt Campbell, one of our talented contestants from last year.

“It was a privilege to have him on the show. He will always be remembered for producing some of the most innovative and groundbreaking food that we saw on the series.

“From the whole MasterChef team, our sincere condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Campbell collapsed at the 22.5 mile mark of the London Marathon, which he was running for The Brathay Trust, to improve the life chances of children, young people and families, and in memory of his father.

Donations on Campbell’s JustGiving page increased minutes after the professional chef’s death was announced, with thousands more pounds pledged.

A statement on London Marathon’s official Twitter page, said: “With deep sadness, we confirm the death of a participant in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon.

“Matt Campbell, aged 29, a professional chef from the Lake District, collapsed at the 22.5 mile mark and, although he received immediate medical treatment on the scene from race doctors, he died later in hospital.

“Matt was a well-known chef who featured in Masterchef: The Professionals last year, inspiring viewers with his Nutritional Gastronomy movement and forward-thinking ideas. He was running for The Brathay Trust and in memory of his father, Martin, who died in the summer of 2016.

“Matt’s family today paid tribute to their inspirational son and brother, who was a keen marathon runner and had earlier this month completed the Manchester Marathon in under three hours.

“Matt’s chosen charity, The Brathay Trust, inspires vulnerable young people to make positive changes in their lives.

“Everyone involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express our sincere condolences to Matt’s family and friends.”

The Brathay Trust said in a statement: “Matt and his family have been tireless in supporting the work of Brathay Trust and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time.”

The marathon was Campbell’s second in two weeks after completing a race in Manchester.

According to his biography on his website, Campbell began his career working in Michelin-starred kitchens after finishing second on BBC Young Chef Of The Year at the age of 20 in 2009.

Speaking about running the marathon in honour of his late father Martin, he wrote on Instagram in February: “Words can’t describe how honoured and humbled I feel to be asked to run this year’s @londonmarathon on behalf of @brathaychallenges/@brathaytrust and in memory of my Father, Martin Campbell.

“It’s been almost 18 months since I lost my dad and this has been the most challenging period of my life.

“One thing that has helped me immensely is running and he inspired me to undertake my first marathon (Brathay) in 2016.

“I would never have believed two years on I would have the opportunity to represent such an incredible charity at such a prestigious event. Fundraising for Brathay with the proceeds going towards their memorial appeal in my father’s name.”

– If you would like to contribute to Matt’s JustGiving page, the details can be found here – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/matt-campbell-martin-campbell

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