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Gordon Ramsay left heartbroken as he announces tragic death

The star paid a touching tribute on Instagram

Gemma Strong

Gordon Ramsay has spoken of his heartbreak following the tragic death of Ben Watkins, who appeared on Masterchef Junior alongside the celebrity chef. Ben was just 14 when he passed away after an 18-month battle with cancer. He had lost both his parents in September 2017.

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Sharing a photo of the young chef, father-of-five Gordon wrote: "We lost a Master of the @masterchefjunior kitchen today. Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered.

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Gordon Ramsay is mourning the death of 14-year-old Ben Watkins

"I adored our time cooking and laughing together on set. Heartbroken today losing my little mate, sending all my love to Ben Watkins' family with this terrible loss Gx."

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The news of Ben's death was confirmed on a GoFund Me memorial page. A statement from his heartbroken family – his Grandma Donna and Uncle Anthony - read: "Our Ben went home to be with his mother this afternoon after a year-and-a-half-long battle with cancer. After losing both of his parents in September 2017, we have marvelled at Ben's strength, courage and love for life. He never, ever complained.

The brave teenager appeared on Masterchef Junior when he was just 11

“Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know. When Ben’s rare illness was shared with the world, he was so heartened by the outpouring of love he received from every corner of the globe - especially here in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

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"We cannot thank this community enough for holding our family up in prayer and for all that you've done. Ben suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many. #Love4Ben."

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His death was confirmed by his heartbroken family

Ben was just 11 when he appeared on Fox's Masterchef Junior. Tragically, shortly after his 13th birthday, he was diagnosed with a rare illness called Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma, a soft tissue tumor usually in children and young adults. Ben was one of only six people in the entire world diagnosed with this illness.

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