Friends of inspirational Preston runner Ben Ashworth are calling for a permanent memorial to him – by a section of the Guild Wheel being named after him.Advertisement
Graham Dixon, who has known Ben since he was growing up in Gregson Lane, has launched the petition.
The 63-year-old member of Trouble At Mill folk band said Ashworth was a ‘hero’ and ‘must be remembered’.
Ashworth passed away on Sunday (2 July) surrounded by his family at his home in Broadgate – after a five-year battle with bowel cancer.
During his chemo he ran countless marathons and ran the Guild Wheel twice in 24-hours.
Ben also took part in Cheeky Santa Dashes, organised by his wife Louise – raising money for Beating Bowel Cancer with hundreds of runners donning plastic bottoms and running round Avenham Park.
He said: “My two lads knew Ben and his sister as they were growing up.
“When we heard about his cancer we held a number of fundraisers for him and his family. What struck me always was his courage in facing up to what was happening.
“I read the news earlier and I thought we must do something.
“Ben never relied on sympathy, he just took the bloody thing by the horns and rode it.
“He’s done so much for Preston. Every time I walk through that section of the park then I think of him, and will continue to do so.”
Mr Dixon said a section of the Guild Wheel should be named as Ben Ashworth Way – possibly from Broadgate to the Docks where Ben often ran.
A the section through Avenham Park is already named after Guild Wheel founder Mike Atkins.
Read more: Tributes pour in for inspirational Ben Ashworth
His petition, on the 38 Degrees website, calls on Preston City Council to action the pledge.
More than 1,000 people have already signed the petition since it was launched on Sunday evening.
You can add your name to the petition here.
Editor’s note: Blog Preston wholeheartedly supports the petition set up by Graham and it would be a fitting way to remember a man who defined the grit and determination of Prestonians.
We share Graham’s thoughts of each time we pass along the banks of the Ribble we’ll remember Ben.
This was his training ground. Those runs when struggling with chemo he would still be out there – wishing others well, pounding the banks of the river and working towards his next marathon.
Where others struggled with a 5k, Ben took every challenge in his stride. He was heroic in never giving in, and turning his battle with the cancer into a force for good.
He got others running, and he always appreciated the help. He would talk to every runner, he would thank them and his problems always seemed far from his mind. Ben was always concerned for you.
A Ben Ashworth Way would be a small tribute to a man who will always loom large on the memory of Preston and Avenham Park. Although a section through Avenham Park is already in memory to Mike Atkins – who was one of the architects behind the Guild Wheel itself – let’s find a section or a way to ensure Ben is remembered too. Sign the petition and let’s help make it happen. For Ben and his family.