THE sudden death of a popular Kidderminster musician and dedicated father has shocked family members and concert-goers in the town.

Paul "Fearfulfingers" Havard, 44, who lived in Kidderminster all his life, died on Friday last week, just five days after being diagnosed with cancer at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester.

The father-of-two, of Borrington Road, was passionate about music and played in several bands throughout his life including most recently the Karpet Kickers, who broke the news to fans on facebook: "It is with great sadness we announce the untimely passing away of our good friend and fellow musician."

He worked as a butcher at Morrisons, Green Street and leaves behind son Liam, 15 and daughter Emily, 10, sisters Katie O'Connor and Kerry Jones and mother and father Pat and Patrick O'Connor.

Mrs Jones, said: "It is an unbelievable shock, it is heart breaking that he died so suddenly and he did not get the time to plan for his death and neither did we."

She added: "He will be remembered for his music but also for being a fantastic father. He was a devoted father, he loved his children. He was teaching Emily to play the guitar and had bought her a pink electric guitar, he had also bought Liam a guitar.

"Judging by comments on facebook, some are calling him a Kidderminster legend, he touched a lot of people because of his interest in music, he really encouraged people and he was so enthusiastic about music. We really want him to be remembered for his love of music and contribution to music in the town."

Mr Havard taught himself to play the piano, guitar, harmonica and banjo while growing up.

His former band mate Richard Morley, who was the lead singer in Pale Kings, said: "He was an extremely popular figure in the local music scene and everyone is in shock."

Mrs Jones said family members were inviting people to attend the former Birchen Coppice First School and Harry Cheshire High School pupil's funeral dressed "as if they were going to a gig". "We hope it is not going to be conventional," she added. "We do not want people wearing suits, he hated wearing suits, he liked wearing his gig clothes.

"His wake will be at the Board Head pub [in Worcester Street] where he played several times. A lot of local musicians will play in his honour."

His family is trying to find Mr Havard's cover of Amazing Grace to play at the funeral. A date and venue is yet to be decided for the service but people interested in attending can call Edwin Harris and Sons Funeral Directors on 01562 822625.