NURSES who cared for courageous chef Ben King managed to sum up his selflessness in just one anecdote at his funeral in Burnley.
While Ben was on Ward B2 at the Royal Preston Hospital, a Polish patient was admitted, who spoke no English.
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The former Nelson and Colne College catering student quickly whipped out his phone to learn some basic phrases so the new arrival wouldn’t feel lonely, mourners heard.
Ben, from Reedley, lost his struggle at the age of 27, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, but not before establishing his own awareness charity, BK’s Heroes.
His courage and inspiration and sense of mischief were remembered at a packed committal at Burnley Crematorium which saw dozens of people having to stand outside the tiny chapel.
Hundreds of splashes of lime green, the chosen colour of Ben’s charity, were in evidence among the congregation as a lengthy cortege arrived at the Accrington Road hall.
His parents Fiona and Dave, and older brother Dan, had requested the tribute and even Ben’s beloved bulldog Bubba sported a lime green ribbon as the family arrived.
Ben suffered kidney failure at six and underwent a transplant, with his dad as the donor, at 17.
Angela Riding, who conducted the committal service, described how Ben’s humour and sense of fun were integral to who he was. She said: “Ben was nothing short of a legend. In his own words he was ‘a very big deal’.”
He began his school life at St Michael and All Angels CE Primary in Foulridge before attending Briercliffe Primary and later Mansfield High, before enrolling at college.
Working initially at The Sparrowhawk in Fence, he would later be renowned at the ACE Centre for his chimichangas, and three-bird roast at Christmas.
“He was proud to say he never followed a recipe,” said Angela.
The cremation was followed by a celebration of Ben’s life at Colne Muni. Donations were sought for the BK Heroes charity, for which a Crossfit Challenge organised by his brother, a skydive and marathon are planned.