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Close friend pays touching tribute to West London man who ‘cared so much’ killed in car crash on his birthday

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A close friend has given a touching to a ‘larger than life’ West London man killed on his birthday in a tragic car accident in Spain.

Benedict Joseph Edwards Martin know just as Ben to his friends was celebrating his 47th birthday in Barcelona on October 8 this year when he lost his life.

News of his death devastated his family and many friends, sending shockwaves through London’s gay community, of which he was a big part.

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Ben was well known in London’s gay scene

It was made all the sadder because Ben had just beat throat cancer and was ‘was so looking forward to life’.

Stan Bloomfield, a Highbury & Islington resident and close friend who knew him for 18 years, gave a touching tribute to Ben.

He said: “He was a good hearted guy. That’s what I’m going to miss about him most, his goodness.

“He was always be there for his friends, or anyone who had a story he felt compassion for. He’d help.

“That was the measure of the man.”

Mistaken occasionally as Benjimen, he would swiftly correct them saying: “I’m the same as the pope darling”

Stan continued: “He was a larger than life man and it’s a great loss to so many people.

“His family are in absolute pieces as are a lot of his friends.”

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Ben with a kitten

The family are struggling to pay the “ginormous” repatriation costs for Ben’s body to be brought back to the UK so Stan has setup a fundraiser to support them.

Investigations are still ongoing to understand the full details behind the crash. MyLondon has contacted the UK Embassy in Madrid for more details on the incident and await a response.

Stan said: “No mother should have to bury their child so I just want to help the family. They’re having to get loans out to get him back.”

Ben was a lifelong campaigner for gay rights, fighting for the repeal of section 28, the equalisation of the age of consent and gay marriage.

He was an active member of the protest group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Stan said: “Ben was all about fun and laughter but cared so much about people’s suffering and the rights of things.

“It was about changing the law but doing it with a sense of fun. They would dress up as nuns, with a smile on their face but a strong sense of what was right. They changed the law and the public’s mind.”

The group, which is an international organisation, was a savage critic of the UK government’s lack of interest in confronting the Aids crisis.

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Ben will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the wider community

Ben had just won a long running battle with Oesophageal cancer, which had made eating was really painful for him.

Stan said: “He had an operation in March, an oesophagus transplant. When he finally felt well enough for his birithday he thought he’d go on this trip Spain to see his friends.

“The shock of it is because he had just turned 47, still so young. During the cancer he spoke about his death a lot,

“Having beaten it he was so looking forward to life, makes it such a tragedy.”

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Ben lived for many years in upper Fulham. jut off Wandsworth Bridge Road, where he loved throwing lavish dinner parties.

Stan said: “We spent many a good night over there. He loved to entertain, do dinner parties. He was always making sure people were having a nice time.

“He just wanted to see people with a smile on their face.

“Even when he was going throught he chemo, he never stopped worrying about other people. That’s his unselfish nature.”

The fundraiser to help out Ben’s family can be found here.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/close-friend-pays-touching-tribute-21990585