Return visit to Menston St Mary's for Matthew Lewis

Wharfedale Observer: Matthew Lewis is going back to his old school today to present one award and to receive another. Buy this photo » Matthew Lewis is going back to his old school today to present one award and to receive another.

One of the stars of the Harry Potter films will return to his old school in Menston today to present a special award.

Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville Longbottom in the films, will hand out the Jamie Payne Ross Award at St Mary’s School to 12-year-old Edward Hollingsworth for his outstanding achievement in sport for a year eight boy.

The award is presented annually at the school in memory of Jamie Payne Ross who died in an accident in 1993.

Assistant headteacher David Geldart said the school was delighted to welcome back Matthew, who follows in the footsteps of Sir Trevor Brooking, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and the Kaiser Chiefs in handing out the prize.

“Matthew has been filming the final Harry Potter recently and has been particularly busy,” he said. “However he responded by saying it would be an honour and we just had to sort out a date in his busy schedule.

“Despite his fame, Matthew is still a great lad and his feet are firmly on the ground. He always keeps in touch with the school and has been a great supporter of our work in South Africa, The Bambisanani Partnership.”

During the special cere-mony Matthew will be presented with the Bamb-isanani Award for his outstanding support of the school’s work in South Africa with Mnyakanya School.

“It is a great honour to be asked to present the Jamie Payne Ross Award,” Matthew said. “Everyone at St Mary’s knows about this award and, indeed, Jamie.

“It is a very special occasion which demonstrates the wonderful sense of community at St Mary’s.”

The recipient of the award, Edward, is an excellent cricketer, a black belt in karate and ranked number two in Yorkshire at table tennis at under 14 level and in the top 60 in the country.

Faculty leader for PE and sport, Martin Green, said: “He is such a pleasant and helpful young man and I am delighted he is the recipient of this major award.”

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