Incoming Doctor Who star Matt Smith has thrown his weight behind a bone marrow match for a neighbour, 15-year-old Northampton School for Boys pupil, Matt Herbert.

The teenager was diagnosed with leukaemia in December 2008 after already beating the disease once before. He hopes to find a suitable bone marrow match in order to undergo a life-saving transplant operation, on which his survival depends.

A clinic is taking place right now for potential donors to submit a saliva sample, running 5.30pm to 9.30pm at Old Northamptonians Association in Billing Road, Northampton.

Smith – who takes over from David Tennant as the Eleventh star of Doctor Who – said:

“Matthew and I grew up in the same street in Northampton, just three houses apart.

“Although he is younger, we both played ball games in that same street – his was a rugby ball and mine a football.

“We both went to the same junior school and secondary school and we even share the same name.”

He added: “Matthew is such a kind, intelligent and fun-loving young man so it is extremely important to me, personally, that he has all the support and help he deserves with his current illness.”

England international rugby fly-half Jonny Wilkinson is also backing the campaign along with manager Martin Johnson, and anyone wishing to find out more should check out this website, www.mattsmatch.co.uk