England football youth star Ben Cull dies aged just 23 as he loses brave cancer battle weeks after proposing to girlfriend
- Ben shared news he had proposed to his partner, Daisy, on Instagram in August
Former England youth star Ben Cull has died aged 23 following a battle with cancer.
His long-time partner Daisy Morrison shared the tragic news on her Instagram page, only weeks after the Southampton academy player proposed to her from hospital.
Ms Morrison wrote on Friday: ‘The hardest goodbye. Yesterday I lost my whole life, my fiance, my soulmate, my person, my entire world. I always hoped and prayed this day would never, ever come.
‘True heartbreak is real, my heart physically hurts and I’ve never felt pain like this.’
At 17, Mr Cull was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone and soft-tissue disease that develops in the supporting tissues of the body.
He had played for the Southampton’s U23 team and earned two caps for the England youth team before his diagnosis.
Ben Cull played for England and Southampton before his diagnosis aged 17
Mr Cull was diagnosed a rare bone and soft-tissue disease that develops in the supporting tissues of the body
In her post, Ms Morrison wrote: ‘You fought until the very end my darling, I know you did absolutely everything you could to stay & despite suffering so bad, you kept going, that I will be forever grateful for, you never gave up, god just had his own plans.
‘One thing I can say for sure is that we made the most of every single second. You * both said we’d rather have met our soulmate and had less time than lived a whole lifetime without each other.’
In a post on August 18, Mr Cull shared pictured of him with Ms Morrison, captioned ‘Marry me?’
The post read: ‘Daisy I’ve had this planned since last year… this isn’t exactly what I had in mind for you when I wanted to tell you how I felt about you & how I might ask you!
‘From the moment I met you I knew you were different in all the right ways, you changed me for the better. I met you [a] boy and I stand here now a man.
‘I don’t know a single person who would do what you’ve done and put up with what you have put up with and that’s how I know I would never want to spend my life without you.
‘I promise you I will fight with everything to be able to see you walk down that [aisle] & I promise to remind you of my love for you every single day for as long as I live.’
Ben became a professional footballer through Southampton’s academy, joining their under 18 squad in 2015.
He was diagnosed with cancer three years later, in 2018.
In her post, Ms Morrison wrote: ‘You fought until the very end my darling, I know you did absolutely everything you could to stay & despite suffering so bad, you kept going, that I will be forever grateful for’
Ben Cull asked his partner to marry him, sharing a post in August on his long standing plan
It is not clear what causes Ewing’s sarcoma. The cancer is more common in children and teenagers but can develop at any age.
The disease can spread from where it started, making it harder to treat.
Medical professionals advise seeing a doctor if your child experiences persistent symptoms including pain, swelling or tenderness near the affected area; bone pain; unexplained tiredness; fever with no cause; or losing weight without trying.
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