Tragic death of popular musician (55)

A popular musician was still performing just days before he died peacefully at home from cancer.

Peter Aspden
Peter Aspden

Mr Peter Aspden (55) was well-known throughout East Lancashire for playing the saxophone, clarinet and other instruments in various bands.

First diagnosed 20 years ago with skin cancer, the condition returned a year ago.

His devastated wife of 17 years, Margaret, paid tribute to her “kind and loving” husband and to those who helped to care for him through his illness.

Peter Aspden

She said: “Peter was a quiet, softly spoken man who was extremely kind.

“He was very dedicated to his music, which he only took up 20 years ago through a love of jazz.

“He was still playing just four days before he died. Peter did not want to know how long he had left, he just wanted to live his life.”

Before he died, Peter arranged the score for a hymn to be played this year at the Accrington Pals’ First World War commemoration.

A shift engineer at Burnley General Hospital, he played in the new Kings Big Band and Valley Sounds, among others.

He leaves parents Arthur and Muriel, son Richard, two sisters and a brother.

Margaret added: “Peter’s Catholic faith was very important to him. His funeral at Christ the King Church was full to capacity. He was buried in a white coffin covered with pictures of saxophones and musical notes.

“I think he would have been amazed to see so many people at his funeral.

“I would like to thank Fr Brian Keeley for writing a special bidding prayer and all the health professionals who have helped us including his GP Dr Santosh Davis.”

A Northern Soul and Motown concert will be held at Towneley Golf Club on February 15th to raise money for Help For Heroes, organised by Peter’s sister Teresa whose son Aiden is a Royal Marine.