GMB weather presenter Alex Beresford leads tributes to pal after cancer death

Good Morning Britain weather presenter Alex Beresford had led tributes to a popular clubber "with a massive heart" following his death aged 33.

Benjamin Millard, known as Benji, died from bowel cancer on April 15 – eight months after being diagnosed with the disease, reports Bristol Live.

The former semi-pro footballer who worked at Nationwide has been described by heartbroken family and friends as an "intelligent and confident man" and is being remembered for his ambition and humour.

Presenter Alex, who is also mourning the death of cousin Nathaniel Armstrong, 29, who was stabbed to death last month in a London knife attack, paid tribute to Benji in a heartrending tribute.

He wrote on Twitter : "This week has been so tough. Lost one of my boys to Bowel Cancer at 33.

"I’m so glad we had that final chat just a few days ago. Everyday I wake up thinking why, but Cancer doesn’t care! RIP Brother Benji."

Benji, who was a fit and healthy and went to the gum sometimes twice a day, was diagnosed with stage four terminal bowel cancer in August.

It was initially mistaken for fatigue, anaemia, mental health and IBS. By the time it was discovered it was too late to save the loving husband, son, stepdad, brother and uncle.

Benji, nicknamed 'Thanos' after the marvel comic character, because he had a "personality as big as the universe," will be laid to rest next week on what would have been his 34th birthday.

He was born and raised in Frome, near Bath, to parents Anthony and Josephine Millard – the eldest of three with two sisters Abs and Steph.

During his later school years he worked part time at Center Parcs.

After leaving education worked for Carphone Warehouse and a sandwich bar.

In his late teens Benji caught the travel bug, with his favourite places being Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.

He eventually settled back into work in the UK, working in finance for London and Country, Which? and then finally Nationwide where he worked his way up into management.

He had a close relationship with his parents, who said he "set an example to us all in how to deal with adversity."

Sisters Abs, 31, and Steph, 29, described him as being a very protective, loving and thoughtful brother.

They said: "He was the best big brother we could have ever asked for. It didn't matter what he had to sacrifice, his family and friends always came first.

"The lessons he has taught us and the legacy he leaves behind is just a scratch on the amazing man he was.”

Benji, who loved sports, was best at football. He had a semi-professional career playing for Radstock, Bath City, Larkhall, Trowbridge and Frome Town over the years.

He also had a real passion for music and festivals, he friends that would stay with him for life through a regular Bristol club night.

His good friend Anthony Williams ran Comfi Sundae, a city club night and Benji often helped him out.

Here he was introduced to a crew of people who he hit it off with straight away.

Anthony said: "To connect with a group of brothers who have been tight and close knit friends for over 25 years takes a special person and he was just that."

Leon Walker, a member of the group, added: "We all had an immediate connection with him.

"His mindset, his ambition, humour and his personality just clicked for me."

The group, including Antony and Leon, as well as Leon Dawkins, Rueben Alozie, Kevin Morris, Simon Moore, Delroy Thomas, and Alex Beresford, regularly went on holiday together.

They all took part in a fundraising Santa fun run for Benji in November raising money for charities that combat bowel cancer.

Delroy Thomas said: "He was a grade A guy.

"A man with a good heart, and someone that you only had to meet once to know how cool he was.” 

Reuben Alozie added: "He was one of the biggest jokers to the group. Always up for a laugh and for having fun.”

Simon Moore described Benji as being like "mischievous brothers" that loved to play pranks on people.

He said: "We used to love to take centre stage for comedy and pranks, and would spend time on the phone planning them before.

"I have so many memories of us ‘up to no good'. We were still doing this when I went to see him just before he died.

"I will miss that so much.”

The friends even had a painting commissioned of him dressed as Thanos from Marvel Comics before his death.

Wife Laura said: "I love him so much and cannot even begin to explain how much I will miss him.

"He was the most wonderful husband, he was my best friend and a loving stepdad to my daughter Sophie.

"He was an intelligent and confident man with a massive heart.

"We will love him always."

His family has set up a Tulip fund to support and raise awareness of the disease.

His parents said: "Benji faced his diagnosis with such courage and bravery, and set an example for us all when faced with such adversity.

“We will strive to raise awareness and early detection of bowel  cancer so that no other family has to face the loss of someone they love so young.”

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