STAFF from a secondary school in Bury will embark on a 20-mile walk this weekend in memory of “modest” colleague who “went above and beyond".

Science department colleagues from St Gabriel's RC High School on Bridge Road are raising money on behalf of assistant head teacher, Dr Mark Hargreaves, who died suddenly aged 49 in March this year.

Staff will be walking from the Hare and Hounds in Holcombe Brook to Bolton Arena, home of Mark’s favourite team, Bolton Wanderers.

Ahead of what would have been his 50th birthday on Thursday, his former colleagues have decided to raise money for education charity SHINE as Mark had donated regularly to good causes.

Bury Times: Colleagues from St Gabriel's science department Colleagues from St Gabriel's science department

Caroline Vincent, curriculum leader for science at St Gabriel’s said: “We found out shortly after his death that he was raising thousands, lots of money for charity anonymously, so we thought the best way to remember Mark would be to do a walk.

“I’m sure he’d be laughing his head off at us all doing this, because we’re not the most athletic.”

Dr Hargreaves joined the school as its head of science 14 years ago and taught physics before joining the senior leadership team.

Caroline added: “He was the most intelligent man you could ever meet, he was so modest, he was funny but subtly funny, he had a very dry sense of humour and he was just a real true gentleman.

“The kids would just be a little bit in awe of his intelligence and would just be swept away with that.”

Bury Times: Dr Mark Hargreaves teaching a classDr Mark Hargreaves teaching a class

A dedicated educator, Mark, known affectionately as “Doccy H” would “always go above and beyond for the kids” at St Gabriel’s and always extended his generosity and knowledge to his colleagues.

“We called him our go-to man because if we needed support from anything, writing anything, excel spreadsheets you name it he would be able to do it in 5 minutes, “said Caroline.

“He knew everything.”

The St Gabriel’s science staff have already raised more than £500 for SHINE, increasing their initial target after receiving so much support.

“It was a real honour to work with Mark and call him a friend,” Caroline said.

If you would like to donate to the fundraiser in memory of Dr Mark Hargreaves, please visit the Just Giving page.