Turf Moor roof death plunge of Clarets apprentice Ben: 20-year anniversary

Family and former teammates commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of former Clarets apprentice Ben Lee at Turf Moor.'Photo Ben Parsons
Family and former teammates commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of former Clarets apprentice Ben Lee at Turf Moor.'Photo Ben Parsons

A CLARETS starlet who died falling from a Turf Moor stand roof has been honoured by family and former teammates 20 years after the tragedy

Ben Lee plunged to his death when the roof of the Long Side terrace caved in as the 17-year-old apprentice tried to retrieve a lost ball.

Former players John Mullin, Paul Weller, Andy Lawson and ex-youth team coach Harry Wilson joined Ben’s family to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.

Ben’s parents Richard and Carol, his sister Katie and her husband Paul laid flowers at the side of the Turf Moor pitch close to the spot where the youngster fell on March 9th 1992.

Richard Lee, who visits Turf Moor every year to honour his son, said it was important to rememberBen’s life. “It is difficult but we want to keep Ben’s memory alive and Burnley Football Club have been extremely helpful and looked after us.”

Ben, originally from Cheshire, was brought to Burnley as an apprentice and “lived for football”.

Despite only being with the Clarets for a short time he broke into the reserve side and was training with the first team.

The then manager Jimmy Mullen described him as a “talented player” who had made a big impression.

But the ambitious player decided to climb onto the roof of the stand to retrieve a ball used in a recent schoolboy international match.

The roof broke and he fell 60ft to the terraces below suffering massive head injuries. He died shortly afterwards in hospital.

Don’t miss your midweek Express for more on this tragic story.

You can leave your tribute to Ben; words of sympathy to his family or share your memories of him below.