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Spurs fan to receive posthumous top military award

Posted on 19 March 2013  - 19:18

The Ministry of Defence has announced that Lance Corporal James Ashworth, a lifelong Spurs fan, will be awarded the Victoria Cross, the UK's highest award for gallantry.

Spurs fan to receive posthumous top military award

The 23-year-old from Corby in Northamptonshire was killed in Afghanistan in June 2012 as he led his team through an enemy-occupied village in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province when they came under attack from insurgents.

L/Cpl Ashworth, of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was shot as he selflessly disregarded ferocious enemy fire to hurl a grenade at a sniper targeting comrades.

His conduct and courage in putting himself in the line of fire to protect his colleagues has seen him recognised by being the first British soldier to receive this honour since 2006 and only the tenth since World War II.

The Victoria Cross, created in 1856, is the most prestigious of all military decorations and only awarded in exceptional circumstances for bravery carried out under direct enemy fire.

"It is great to see that James has got the recognition he deserves," his brother Coran, who is also a serving soldier, said.

"As my Mum has said in the past, it proves that what he died for wasn't in vain and there was justification for what he did. I think that's the main thing. I know it doesn't bring him back but it certainly makes it a little bit easier for us to come to terms with."

James' family have been supporters of the Club ever since the days his grandfather would watch the team play.

"Our granddad and his brother were always massive Spurs fans," Coran said.

"Our granddad used to sit us down and reminisce about watching Spurs back in the day. James was always a massive football fan and that is where his passion for Spurs first began. Being from the Midlands, we would always try to go to as many away games in the area as we could get to."

James' family, friends and fellow soldiers will be cycling over 400 miles from Edinburgh to London between 22 and 27 April in his memory to raise money for Help for Heroes and Blesma. For more information please visit www.bmycharity.com/theashworthcycle