Lots go under the hammer in Ben's memory
By Mark Owen and Rob Freeman | 13th August 2020
Sporting memorabilia, tickets and donations from local businesses are up for grabs at a live online auction for a suicide prevention charity in memory of a former member of the Punchline team.
Ben Brown, part of the Punchline magazine delivery team, was just 22 when he died in April.
Friends, family and former colleagues have raised more than £31,000 for the Papyrus charity, largely by running and walking the 4,600 miles from Loughborough to Istanbul.
Ben was a member of the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme at Loughborough University and friends from the squadron were among around 1,000 people who clocked up the distance of this year's planned trip for exercises.
And now AMS Auctions is hosting the online auction on Sunday to raise more funds.
Rugby fans are well catered for among more than 60 lots which include a round of golf for three people with former Wales and Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips, plus boots donated by ex-Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton and former Gloucester, Wales and Lions star James Hook.
There are also signed shirts from the 2020 England Six Nations squad and Wales wing George North, plus a ball signed by Jonny Wilkinson with signed pictures, tickets and an hour-long leadership Zoom call for your company from former England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Other sporting lots include tickets to next year's British Grand Prix, a ball signed by the Manchester United squad and signed Liverpool memorabilia.
Also up for grabs is a signed book by Tom Kerridge, overnight stays and a three-course lunch at Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill at The Shard.
Ben's stepfather Mark Hartery, who runs event management company Aitch and Aitch Bee with Ben's mum Helen, said: "We'd like to thank everyone who has contributed lots and Rob York and the team at AMS Auctions.
"There is still time to donate lots and if we could raise £4-5,000, that would be outstanding.
"Even more important is getting the message out that we need to talk. There's no message that you can't talk about."
Mark Owen, managing director and editor of Punchline-Gloucester.com, worked with Ben delivering Punchline magazines across the county.
He said: "He worked with many of the other team members, but if I could I'd put him with me because he was such great company.
"He was also extremely hard working, running down the road to deliver to places a little bit further out of the way.
"He was a very clever young guy with a great sense of humour and with the world at his feet. His loss is so sad."
The auction is being conducted live at amsauctions.co.uk from 7pm on Sunday, August 16.
You can log on now, click on the link to the For Ben Charity Auction, to register for the sale and see the full list of auction lots.
And you can find out more about Payprus and make a donation at papyrus-uk.org
If you need somebody to talk to, day or night, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123.
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