Published: 14:43, 01 May 2009
| Updated: 14:43, 01 May 2009
The family of a student who died after being attacked in Ashford have told of their devastating loss.
Ben Neilson, 21, died a week after an assault in the town centre. Two men have been charged over the attack.
His family today issued a statement saying: "Our family would like to express their thanks to the William Harvey Hospital and the Royal London Hospital for their kind support and the compassionate care they gave to Ben.
"We are overwhelmed by the kindness and support that family and friends have shown to us in this distressing time.
"Ben was a loving son, brother and uncle, and a great friend to everyone who knew him.
He was the light, life and soul of everything that he was part of; his sport, his social life and his academic career.
"We are devastated at our loss of a bright, beautiful young man who’s life has been cruelly cut short and for this reason we ask that the media respect our request for privacy."
Ben, of Essella Road, Ashford, was described as a 'leading light' by the head teacher of his former grammar school, Norton Knatchbull, and as the 'heart and soul' of his group of friends.
A university student who was home for the Easter holidays. He died in a London hospital when a life support machine was switched off on Monday .
Less than 24 hours after Ben’s death, almost 500 people joined a Facebook group set up in his honour.
Add your own tribute to Ben in the Add a Comment section below.
For full story and more tributes, see the Kentish Express, out on Friday.
More by this authorKentOnline reporter