/Teen who was always smiling died doing what made him happy

Teen who was always smiling died doing what made him happy

A mum has said her “always smiling” 18-year-old son died while doing what made him happy.

Benjamin Gautrey, from Southport, died after a crash at the British Superbikes meeting at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire on August 29, 2011.

He fell during the first lap and was immediately hit by two riders following him. He was treated trackside but suffered severe and serious head and chest injuries.

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The ex-Stanley High pupil started racing when he was 15 in the Aprilia Superteens.

Ben’s mum, Lorraine Blake, has paid tribute to her “always smiling” boy on the tenth anniversary of his death.

Lorraine told the ECHO: “I can remember every detail, every conversation, of every day in the week leading up to his death.

“Ben had a contagious happiness, and he could make anybody feel special.

Lorraine with her son Ben
Lorraine with her son Ben

“I’m obviously biased as a mum, and you always think the best of your kids, but even now I am always hearing it from other people.”

Lorraine says she is grateful that Ben had a “happy and wholesome” life.

She continued: “You only have to look at the news, what’s going on in Afghanistan, knife crime on the streets, gangs…

“Ben’s death, as horrendous as it was, he wasn’t murdered, he wasn’t stabbed.

Benjamin Gautrey, from Southport, was 18 when he was killed in a motorbike crash
Benjamin Gautrey, from Southport, was 18 when he was killed in a motorbike crash

“We knew there was a risk [with him racing], and we spoke about it. Ben said ‘but if I die, I’ll die happy’. Obviously he didn’t understand what those words meant at the time.

“Ben’s death was incredibly cruel, but I am so grateful for the time we had. There were no arguments, no teenage angst, our relationship was happy and positive.”

Lorraine says she still introduces Ben to people she meets, and includes him however she can.

She added: “Anyone who has lost a child will know they are never forgotten, always remembered and always included. When I meet somebody knew I introduce Ben as I do my other children.

“I have my faith, and I don’t think Ben has gone forever. He is asleep until we meet again.

“I still have my moments, I still have a yearning to be with my son, and this weekend will be incredibly difficult.

“But I refuse to be a victim of circumstance. There is still joy. I have my children and grandchildren around me.”

Ben, an avid LFC fan who had trials at the club when he was nine and ten years old, had two sisters, Alexandra and Jessica. He was also godfather to Alexandra’s daughter, Nell.

The Ben Gautrey Foundation was set up to ensure Ben’s name lives on, with his legacy to be that other young people get some help in achieving their goals.

The foundation’s annual dinner has been postponed due to the pandemic. To date a staggering £396,261 has been raised in Ben’s memory.

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