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Obituary: Mel Pilkington, founder and managing director of Aspecto

Mel Pilkington, the founder and managing director of premium young fashion indie Aspecto, died on May 21 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 59.

Pilkington started the business in 1986 by opening his first premium casualwear store on Bridge Street in Manchester. The company now has six stores in Manchester city centre, the Trafford Centre in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and Glasgow, as well as trading online.

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2007. In 2009, Pilkington’s consultant gave him a life expectancy of between 12 and 18 months and it was a testament to his “bloody-mindedness” that he survived an additional five years, according to Aspecto’s buying director Norman Roberts.

Roberts added: “He continued to work throughout his illness, although his failing health over recent years did lead to prolonged absences from the business. Despite all the treatments and absences from work due to ill health, Mel remained totally positive throughout and was an inspiration to many.

“He will be missed by so many but in particular his wife, Jane, and son, Charlie, who with the board will continue to operate the company as normal.”

The funeral will be held at St John the Evangelist church in Read, Lancashire, at 2.15pm on June 5. Donations can be made to the Specialised Ability Centre in Manchester to provide myoelectric arm prostheses via funeral director Bertwistle Funeral Services in Padiham.

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