Educating Yorkshire’s Mr Burton expects a testing time as he puts on his running shoes

Thornhill Academy teacher Matthew Burton
Thornhill Academy teacher Matthew Burton
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English teacher Matthew Burton, who starred in Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire, is preparing to take on his first marathon for two causes close to his heart.

He will line up with thousands of other runners in York on Sunday October 12 to take part in the second Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, which is expected to raise up to £2m for charities across the region.

Mr Burton is tackling the 26.2 miles to raise money for the Miscarriage Association and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield. He is running in memory of child actor Harry Whittaker, three, who played Leo Dingle in Emmerdale and who died earlier this year.

Harry, who had Down’s Syndrome, was the nephew of Huddersfield actress Jodie Whittaker, who starred in the hit television drama Broadchurch.

Mr Burton, speaking of his reasons for supporting both charities said: “On Christmas Eve 2012, my wife and I very sadly lost what would have been our first baby, and words can’t ever really describe the feeling.

“To go from expecting to welcome a tiny human being in a few months to knowing that wasn’t going to happen in a matter of seconds was just unbearable. Miscarriage is so common but isn’t spoken about and can be a taboo subject.

“The remarkable people at the Miscarriage Association work hard to support those who need it, to support research into it, and to raise awareness of something that damned well needs it.

“I am also raising money for Forget Me Not Children’s in memory of Harry Whittaker, the nephew of a friend. This brilliant charity provides support and help for families and children in those dark, dark times of dire need, and are a constant support and comfort.”

Mr Burton is familiar to viewers who followed life at Dewsbury’s Thornhill Community Academy in the TV series. To support him go to

The event also incorporates the Northern Gas Networks Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay.

The Yorkshire Post is a media partner.