Rotherham fundraiser Ray Matthews embarking on new challenge for 80th birthday

A man from Rotherham is encouraging schoolchildren to take on a new challenge to celebrate his 80th birthday after running 75 marathons in 75 days for his 75th birthday.

Ray Matthews wants 80 schools to run 80 miles and raise £80 for Age UK - 25 schools have already signed up for the challenge with people from across the world taking part, including in Cambodia, France and Italy.

Ray said: "I've got some friends in Cambodia that are looking to doing it in Cambodia. 

"We've got Italy coming on board, we've got our twin town Saint-Quentin that are looking at doing it in France and I've got some American friends who are again looking at it so again how amazing would it be if eighty countries running would be amazing."

Credit: ITV News

At St Bede's Catholic Primary School in the South Yorkshire town, Ray has already got the school to agree to run a mile a day.

The headteacher at the school, Andrea Wassell, said: "We always like to support Ray anyway and I'm very keen to support the children with any sort of physical activity and running, get organised with this kind of things, so as soon as I heard about this challenge we were straight on board. 

"We did try and sign up to be the first school but someone pipped us to the post, we were the second school to sign up for this so yeah very keen to get behind him."

Blake Freeman, a teacher at St Bede's, said: "The kids absolutely love him Ray's a local hero for us so when he comes in all of the kids are really excited to see him. 

"We've got our own celebrity because he actually came to this school himself so the kids love to see him."

The school's will be taking part in the challenge on Ray's birthday - June 30.