THE mother of a teenage boy who drowned at sea says her grief remains “as fresh as ever” as Clacton prepares to honour his memory.

Vicky Knight will never forget the day her popular son Ben Quartermaine, 15, disappeared in the waters near to the town’s pier.

Speaking after it was announced a fundraising event will be held in his memory on the first anniversary of his death, she said: “It is just as fresh now as it ever was for us.

“We are all trying to get through each day as it comes. Every day at a time.

“It is all I can do. It really helps that people want to remember him.

“He was popular, he was cheeky - but not too much.

“He just managed to walk that borderline - especially with me.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Popular - Ben was loved by all who knew him 

Clacton was united in its mourning after the frantic search reached its tragic conclusion.

Charity Essex Hands, which picks a different cause to support every year, is planning a fundraiser dedicated to the teenager.

The event will include a football match between Arsenal FC’s charity team and an Essex Hands side, alongside live performances of some of Ben’s favourite songs.

Marion Knight, founder of the charity, said money raised will be donated to Clacton RNLI and the Arsenal Foundation.

“Everyone in Clacton felt the same sense of grief and shock,” she said.

“It must have been an unimaginable year for the family.

“This will hopefully give them a good start on the next.”

She added: “Ben being an Arsenal fan, Arsenal wanted Essex Hands to get involved and help Ben’s family raise awareness and much-needed funds for the RNLI.

“These guys look after our coast here in Clacton, saving lives and helping others at the drop of a hat, day or night.

“They are true heroes.”

The Ben Quartermaine Remembrance Day will take place on Sunday, July 28, one year on from the day Ben’s body was found.

A custom bike show will be put on, celebrating Ben’s love of motorcycles.

The night before the event, on Saturday, July 27, there will be an opportunity to meet and greet the players taking part in the football match.

Players already confirmed to play include ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Steven Slade, snooker star Mark King and the Twin MCs of the So Solid Crew.

A candle-lighting ceremony will be led by Ben’s family, starting at the Royal Hotel, in Marine Parade East, and continuing to the pier at 11pm to mark the night Ben went missing.

All money raised from this evening will be put towards a remembrance bench for Ben.

The remembrance day will run at Clacton FC’s ground, in Rush Green Road, from 11am until 2.45pm, on July 28.

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Marion said: "We have the Essex Hands ambassador Lydia Lucy preforming live, Mike Carran, Liberty Grant, Abbie Hartley and Craig Harvey singing lots of Bens favourite tunes.

“Dents and Scuffs of Colchester are our main match sponsors and without them we would not be able to put these events on.

“We rely on the generosity of volunteers and businesses.”