Tributes to Lez, a top drummer and family man

A TALENTED drummer who raised money for charity during his fight with cancer has died aged 51.

Lez Piszkalo, of Lydgate, passed away with his family by his side.

His wife of 20 years, Elaine, said: "He was my life. The best thing that ever happened to me. He was a real family man who adored his daughters and was very proud of them both."

Daughters Emma, 23, and Gabriella, 19, wrote in a eulogy: "Our dad was the most passionate person we've ever known. We owe such a lot to him. He was hard-working and always made sure he achieved every goal in his sight. This is a quality we hope to carry on in our lives as a lasting legacy to him."

Mr Piszkalo was diagnosed in July, and played a farewell gig at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, in November.

Best friend and bandmate Tony Hallsworth said: "It would have been a hard task for many drummers at the peak of their fitness – and he didn't play half-heartedly. He was a full-on drummer – exciting to watch.

"I couldn't have asked for a better mate. He was more like a brother to me. He will always be remembered."

The event raised around 3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mr Piszkalo was a landlord at the Fox and Hounds pub in Todmorden from 1989 to 1996, before becoming a health and safety officer.

He was a Deep Purple fan and a respected musician who had played in rock groups since the age of 11.