Could your child's science teacher be Matt Damon's stunt double?

Mr Bentley has left his post as General Manager of The Foundry Climbing Centre, Mowbray Street, Sheffield
Mr Bentley has left his post as General Manager of The Foundry Climbing Centre, Mowbray Street, Sheffield
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A Sheffield stunt double for Matt Damon in the film The Bourne Identity has left his job at a climbing wall to become a science teacher.

World-class free climber Neil Bentley, from Beauchief, Sheffield, has left his job as manager of The Foundry Climbing Centre in Sheffield to study a PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University.

The 47-year-old father-of-one is well respected in the climbing world, not least for being the first to complete Equilibrium in Derbyshire- the first grade E10 on gritstone in the UK.

The climbing star’s fame hit new heights in 2002 when he doubled as Matt Damon in one of the most famous scenes in the Bourne film series.

In the Universal Pictures film, Neil doubled for Matt Damon when he flees Swiss guards by climbing down the outside wall of the American Embassy in Zurich- which is actually a bank in Prague.

Neil also taught the actor to climb some of the easier sections himself.

But Neil will soon be teaching a classroom of children instead of Hollywood stars.

Neil said: "Teaching has appealed to me for some time and is certainly going to bring new experiences on a very steep learning curve."

Gavin Harness, Neil's replacement as manager of The Foundry, said the climbing wall would miss Neil's deep understanding of the sport.

“He has so much knowledge. And he just knows everyone on the climbing scene.”

Mr Bentley remains an enthusiastic cyclist despite injuring his spine in a bike crash

Mr Bentley remains an enthusiastic cyclist despite injuring his spine in a bike crash

Neil's top-level climbing form was shattered five years ago when he had surgery on his spine after crashing his bike on the way to work on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield.

Since his recovery he has continued to cycle and climb.

On the Foundry’s Facebook page, climbers have been wishing Neil luck in his new job after 21 years at the climbing wall.

Mark Buskwood said: “Neil, the place won't be the same without you. Your smile and cheerfulness have been constants for all those years.”

Paul Rhodes was among many well-wishers who was surprised by the career move: “Wow. Imagine having Neil ‘Big Arms’ Bentley as your science teacher.”