Tributes to ‘gifted and inspirational’ former Worksop musician Alan

'Gifted and respected' musician Alan Needham has died aged 62.
'Gifted and respected' musician Alan Needham has died aged 62.

A former Worksop musician who battled a brain tumour for four years and underwent surgery while still awake has died.

Brass bandsman Alan Needham, who spent 40 years performing with his beloved Rossington Band, died on January 2 at the age of 65.

Alan, who used to live in Worksop before he moved to Doncaster, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2014. He was given six months to live but defied medics and even underwent brain surgery while still conscious during his treatment.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Needham who was well-known in local music circles and described as “a highly respected bandsman.”

Brass band website said Mr Needham had “bravely fought an inspirational battle against cancer” while the Brain Tumour Research Charity called him a “totally inspiring supporter.”

One of Mr Needham’s wishes was to see the Rossington Band, which disbanded in 2004, perform one last time and brass band musicians from across the region came together to perform a one-off concert.

He was presented with the 2015 Butlins Excellence Award in recognition of half a century of loyal and dedicated service to the brass band movement.

A gifted player, he also gained success as a conductor working with the likes of Whitwell and Market Rasen and bands, winning the Fourth Section Bolsover Entertainment title with Market Rasen in 2012 as well as gaining podium finishes at Butlins, the Midlands Regional Championships, Buxton, Pontins and the NEDBBA contests.

The former miner and civil servant refused to be beaten by cancer and threw himself into fundraising to help others, helping to raise over £21,000 for people suffering from the same condition.

Life-long music lover Mr Needham was a dedicated member Rossington Band from the age of eight.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, a Type 4 Glioblastoma and when friends and former colleagues heard of his plight, a concert was organised to reunite the band once more - with Mr Needham as conductor.

At the time he said: “I can’t put into words what it would mean to see us all play together again.

“I’ve never been into sport, or drinking, and for me this has been my life.”