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Tributes paid to 'true champion and true golfing gentleman' Ben
DORSET’S golfing fraternity is mourning the loss of Ben Harvey – a much-loved and respected county player.
The 28-year-old Dorset and former England Boys international lost his battle with cancer last weekend.
Among Ben’s many golfing achievements was winning the McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath in 2001. Success in such a prestigious national event led to him being selected to play for his country.
He also represented the South West and was part of the Dorset team that qualified for the English Golf Union finals in 2002.
Leading the tributes were former team-mates Tom Leech and Dean Barnes.
“Ben will always be remembered in the golfing community for being a purist and a great player,” said Leech, who won back-to-back county championships in 2010 and 2011.
“His methodical approach to playing the game made it look very easy and his achievements are endless, representing club (Ferndown), county and, most proudly of all, his country.
“He was more than a great golfer to me, though, he was my best mate,” added Leech. “He was funny, caring and generous and would always be doing something good for someone.”
Barnes, meanwhile, first met Ben when he was 12-years-old.
“We were both members at Dudsbury and would play two or three times a week together,” explained Barnes, a former Europro Tour winner. “You could see, even at that early stage, how naturally it came to him.
“He had a great sense of dignity and respect for the sport, making him a great role model, while his sense of humour and approachable nature made him popular with all who knew him.
“Even towards the end of his life, he managed to play a full 18 holes for a charity event – proving that once he had committed to something, he was adamant he would see it through. In my eyes, he was a true champion,” added Barnes.
Among Ben’s admirers is former county captain Doug Pratt, who led Dorset to their only EGU national success in 1992.
“I never heard Ben say a bad word against his fellow competitors; not only was he a true gentleman but a great team player,” said Pratt.
“I am sure that the name of Ben Harvey will live on as one of life’s true golfing gentlemen.”
Fellow former captain John Smith added: “Dorset has lost a fine amateur golfer with huge potential, who had the experience and skill to become a future captain of the county and also the South West.”
Ben, who passed away in the house that he built, leaves a devoted wife Claudia, son Finley, and loving parents Sue and Pat.
His funeral is on Friday at Bournemouth Crematorium at 11.30am.