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‘A man of positivity’: Tributes pour in for Ben Ashworth

Posted on - 2nd July, 2017 - 3:44pm | Author - | Posted in - Broadgate, Charities, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Ben and his wife Louise before the Santa Dash
Ben and his wife Louise before the Santa Dash they organised in Avenham Park

It’s the kind of news on a Sunday afternoon that makes you swallow very hard and wish it wasn’t true – Ben Ashworth has passed away.

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A hero of Preston’s running scene he ran marathons while undergoing chemotherapy for bowel cancer.

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He had recently been recognised for the money and awareness raised for bowel cancer charities at the Preston Sports Awards.

But Ben, of Broadgate, Preston, could run no longer and aged 38 he has passed away following a five-year fight with bowel cancer.

Prestonians and many from further afield have been leaving their tribute to a man who taught us to never stop running.

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Ben’s Bowel Movements is the Facebook page his wife Louise, and Ben, had been using to update on his condition and cancer battle.

Sharon Reay said: “Humbled to call you my friend, my hero, my inspiration, no more pain no more suffering and your legacy will carry on, my thoughts and prayers to your family.”

Steve Marsden said: “There are no words really that can adequately express how I and all of us felt and feel about Ben. His strength his humour his wit his faith and his humanity. His soul was blessed and those who were privileged enough to have known him no matter how long or fleeting that may have been we are all much better human beings for it.”

Steve Heaps, Dr Adrian Ibbetson, Head of School – Sport and Wellbeing, Ben Ashworth
Ben Ashworth (right) receiving a special recognition award at the Preston Sports Awards

Belinda Sheridan said: “So very sad to hear that Ben has sadly passed away. What a true inspiration to all. Prayers and thoughts to his family. Rest in peace.”

Peter Cobb said: “A true inspiration, a man of positivity and faith. He truly fought the good fight against a terrible disease. Condolences to all his family and friends. RIP, Ben – he will continue his running pain-free in the next life.”

Interim chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer Judith Brodie said: “Ben, 38, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2012 and given just a few months to live in 2013. Yet he defied the odds, ultimately running 24 marathons in 24 months between 2014 and 2016 and undertaking countless other sporting challenges to raise awareness of the disease – all while undergoing often-gruelling treatment.

“His determination, good humour and eloquence were a source of inspiration to those in the bowel cancer community and far beyond.

“Ben spent his last few days at home with his wife Louise and their three young daughters; he passed away peacefully with Louise and his mother at his side.

“Ben, thank you for your passion, commitment and support.”

There are already more than 1,000 tributes to Ben on the family’s Facebook page.

His family have asked for time to grieve and it is understood an opportunity for friends and supporters of Ben to pay their tributes will be made in due course.

A petition has been launched calling for a Ben Ashworth Way to be made on a section of the Guild Wheel – a route Ben loved to run. Blog Preston is backing the petition.

You can leave your tributes in the comments below and if you’d like to donate in Ben’s memory you can via this donation link

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