Parents’ ‘best friend’ tribute to loving Ben

Ben Hennessy and his girlfriend of five years, Mary Elizabeth Allott.
Ben Hennessy and his girlfriend of five years, Mary Elizabeth Allott.
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The parents of a popular Clitheroe man who died aged 24 after falling down the stairs of his home, have paid an emotional tribute to their “loving, happy and inspirational” son.

Ben Hennessy suffered brain injuries after hitting his head on the concrete floor of his home in Bawdlands, Clitheroe, on Monday evening of last week.

Emergency services were called and he was rushed to Royal Preston Hospital where he underwent a CT scan, which showed that there was too much blood on his brain.

Ben’s girlfriend of five years, Mary Elizabeth Allott and his parents, Martin and Ann Hennessy, made the heartbreaking decision to switch off the life support machine the next day.

A popular lad, Ben worked as a barman at the former Olive Press restaurant in Clitheroe, and more recently at Mitton Hall.

Two years ago he was diagnosed with a rare benign spinal tumour, which left him unable to use his right arm.

Describing the moment he heard his only son fall, Mr Hennessy said: “We had just enjoyed tea together and Ben was sitting downstairs with Mary when he decided to come upstairs for a chat.

“The next second we heard him fall and we rushed to his side. I was able to administer CPR until the paramedics arrived, but I knew it was too late because of the force of the impact. He never regained consciousness. Ben also suffered a cardiac arrest and therefore we are unsure as to the cause of his death.”

“He had been prescribed steroids due to his tumour and his balance wasn’t very good because of the medication.

Ben attended St James’ Primary School and Ribblesdale High School, where he is fondly remembered as a “model pupil”.

Mr Stephen Cox, head of Ribblesdale High, said: “Ben was a model pupil whilst at Ribblesdale and he grew into a mature, enthusiastic and well thought of young man.

“His teachers have very fond memories of him and the whole school community is deeply saddened by the tragic news of his untimely death.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

On leaving school, Ben studied at Blackburn College and then Manchester Metropolitan University. He was planning to move to Manchester with Mary to spend the rest of their lives together.

“They had so many dreams,” said Mr Hennessy.

“The day before Ben died, he was discussing his marriage plans and future with Mary. They were so happy together.

“Ben touched the lives of so many and his death has left a huge hole in our lives. Ann is absolutely distraught. He was not only our son, but our best friend. He was a very loving person and always happy.

“His friends and everyone who knew him gathered at our house over the weekend and we made wrist bead bracelets in his memory. We will miss him dearly.”

A funeral service will take place at Burnley Crematorium at 2-20 pm tomorrow (Friday). This will be followed by a celebration of Ben’s life at Key Street, Clitheroe. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Teenage Cancer Trust by logging onto