HIGH school students collecting for charity had their hard work rewarded when they were given free tickets to see Manchester United play Manchester City.
Ben Lord, 14, known as Benji, battled cancer when he was in Year 5 at Helmshore Primary School. Next year, when he reaches his five year goal of being in remission, he hopes to have raised £10,000 for the hospital where he was treated.
His mother Sarah noticed a lump on his neck and he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the gland was removed at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
He was transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where an x-ray revealed the cancer had not spread so he did not need chemotherapy.
Ben has been raising money for the Manchester hospital ever since.
He also joins in on the hospital’s fundraisers, along with his friend from Haslingden High School Sam Dawson, 13, also from Helmshore.
They joined the hospital to collect money outside Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium and also at the Ethiad Stadium and they raised nearly £2,500 from both days.
Sam said: “A man came up and donated some money and then went up to a policeman and told him he had three tickets for the match and he wondered who he should give them too.
“The policeman suggested us and the man gave them to us.”
The fundraisers from the hospital were quick to Tweet about the man’s generosity.
Sam and Ben were collecting with Ben’s mother Sarah so they all got prime seats on the second row to watch Manchester United defeat City 1-0.
Both Sam and Ben are season ticket holders, but for rival sides – Sam supports Blackburn Rovers while Ben is a Burnley fan.
They worked out the tickets they had been given were worth around £200.
Ben said: “We were delighted because we had thought we would only be able to watch the second half when we got home.”
Ben is still £1,500 short of his target, but he will be holding a Benji’s Big Bash fundraiser in August at Haslingden Cricket Club when he hopes to raise enough to reach his goal.