Ben Ashworth made ‘Friend of the City’ by Preston Council

Inspirational runner and fundraiser Ben Ashworth was made the first ‘Friend of the City’ the day before he died.

The honour makes Ben the first Prestonian to be awarded the certificate from the Mayor Preston Brian Rollo.

The letter accompanying the certificate states: “You are an inspiration to the people of Preston and you epitomise the very best of our city. On a personal level, I am very proud you are a Prestonian.”

Mayor of Preston, councillor Brian Rollo, said: “Seeing the amount of money raised for Ben’s chosen charities is phenomenal and a credit to Ben, his family, and all their efforts.

“This recognition is so very well deserved and I couldn’t think of anyone else who would be top of the list. Ben will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

The council says Ben’s reaction was simply “wow”.

The 38-year-old dad of three died after a long battle with bowel cancer on Sunday at his home in Broadgate, Preston.

Ben was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 and told he only had months to live.

After setting a target of six marathons in six months in 2014, the 38-year-old ended up running more than 20, raising thousands of pounds via the Ben’s Bowel Movements charity site.

Last Christmas time, more than 100 runners added to the fund when they took part in the Cheeky Santa Dash in Avenham Park.

Earlier in the year, he had spent several weeks in hospital after a new tumour was found on his liver. He had to undergo an 11-hour operation and was in intensive care for five weeks, but was delighted at the success of the event, at which racers not only had the option of wearing the traditional Santa suit but also a pair of special ‘bum’ shorts.

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