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‘Heartbroken’ Gordon Ramsay pays tribute as MasterChef Junior star Ben Watkins dies from cancer aged 14

Gordon Ramsay and Ben Watkins

Gordon Ramsay paid tribute to Ben Watkins (Picture: Getty/BBC)

A ‘heartbroken’ Gordon Ramsay has paid an emotional tribute to MasterChef Junior contestant Ben Watkins who has died from cancer aged 14.

Ben’s family confirmed he had passed away on Monday, just months after it was reported he was being treated for a rare form of cancer called Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma.

TV chef Gordon sent his love to Ben’s family as he penned a touching message recalling their time on the show together.

‘We lost a Master of the @masterchefjunior kitchen today,’ Gordon wrote. ‘Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man.

‘Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. I adored our time cooking and laughing together on set.

‘Heartbroken today losing my little mate, sending all my love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx.’

Appearing on MasterChef Junior in 2017, Ben became a firm fan favourite on the show.

Although he didn’t win, Ben’s love of cooking made him a standout star.

Ben’s time on the show was marred however when his mother and father died in a murder-suicide between the time the show was filmed and aired.

Mike Watkins, Ben’s father, shot and killed Leila Edwards before shooting himself.  Ben’s grandmother and uncle became his legal guardians in the wake of the tragedy.

Ben Watkins on MasterChef Junior

Ben was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma (Picture: BBC)

Ben’s death was confirmed in a statement posted by his grandma and uncle.

‘Our Ben went home to be his mother Monday afternoon after a year-and-a-half-long battle with cancer,’ it read. ‘After losing both his parents in September 2017, we have marvelled at Ben’s strength, courage and love for life.

‘He never ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know.

‘When Ben’s rare illness was shared with the world, he was so heartened by the outpouring of love he received from every corner of the globe – especially here in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

‘We cannot thank this community enough for holding our family up in prayer and for all that you’ve done.’

The statement continued: ‘Ben suffered more than his share in his 14 years on this earth but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many.’

Credit: Original article published here.

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