Mothers tribute to ‘inspirational’ disabled Mansfield strongman

“No matter what is adverse in your life please never let it become your excuse for not being or doing the best you can.”

These were the inspirational words of Mansfield strongman Darran Stanesby shortly before he lost his almost 20-year battle with a brain disease.

Darran carrying the Olympic torch in 2012.

Darran carrying the Olympic torch in 2012.

Marsha Stanesby has now paid tribute to her son, who died aged 51, calling him a “wonderful son” and an “inspiration”.

The “incredible” and “inspirational” man of West Bank Avenue, Mansfield, was left paralysed after an aneurysm in the early 2000s.

He was later diagnosed with Ataxia, a brain disease, which affected his co-ordination, balance and speech.

But, despite this he fought on, winning the British and World Championships for wheel chair body building in 2013, came second place at the World’s Strongest Disabled Man competition in Iceland. 2014 and even carried the Olympic torch in 2012.

Mrs Stanesby of Mansfield Woodhouse said: “He was a wonderful son.

“But, his brain disease finally took him after fighting it for 20 years.

“He helped so many people and did so much.”

He also leaves behind his 15 year-old daughter, Freya, who he adored.

Darran started weightlifting after the diagnosis, deciding he would “live and not prepare to die”.

Speaking previously to your Chad, Darran said: “When I arrive at the gym, I’m not Darran in a wheelchair, I’m not Darran who has one of the rarest brain diseases in the world, I’m just Darran.”

Anytime Fitness Mansfield, a gym he joined in 2016, paid tribute to the “incredible gentleman”.

A spokesman from the gym said: “We’re sure we speak on behalf of all our members when we say that Darran, despite the battles he faced daily, was an incredible gentleman who had the most positive and optimistic spirit which inspired us all.

“Darran touched the lives of everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He was a huge character, not only within our immediate community here at Anytime Fitness Mansfield, but also within the body building world.

“Darran never let his diagnosis beat him, and he went on to compete in numerous events such as Worlds Strongest Disabled Man and Wheelchair Bodybuilding. Darran’s outstanding achievements are a credit to his determination, courage, and resilience to never let anything hold him back.”

His funeral will be held at Mansfield & District Crematorium on Derby Road, Mansfield, on Thursday, October 3.

The funeral will start at 12.15pm, the funeral cortège is set to arrive at noon.

Mrs Stanesby said: “Over 200 people have said they will come to his funeral so it will be a full crematorium.”

Read the stories we have done with Darran in the past.

Darran ready for his ten tonne challenge

Courage of a would-be Paralympian

Portland College celebrate achievements

Former Mansfield rugby coach battling brain disease wins top gym award

Mansfield gym members show superhuman strength and determination in friend’s memory

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