A MUSICIAN who battled a crippling cancer continues to inspire a year on from his death, as a charity rock concert looks to raise funds for a cause “close to his heart.”

Laurence “Laf” Oakley-Ward, of Colchester, was diagnosed with rare and devastating liver cancer cholangiocarcinoma back in March 2021.

He had first been admitted to hospital after falling unwell at his daughter’s birthday party in 2020. He tragically died aged 39 on June 25 last year.

Prior to his untimely death, the father-of-three was involved in organising the very first Rock for Research event, which helped him pass the time when enduring long sessions of chemotherapy.

The inaugural Rock for Research went ahead in his honour, raising vital funding for AMMF - the UK’s only cholangiocarcinoma charity.

The fundraising concert is now set to return for a second year on November 18 at St Giles Masonic Centre in Colchester.

Gazette: Musician - Laf Oakley-Ward lost his battle with cancerMusician - Laf Oakley-Ward lost his battle with cancer (Image: Submitted)

Steven Chan, a former bandmate of Laf’s, said: “This year, Laf’s bandmates from Voodoo Child and The Purple Dawgs will be playing rock and indie covers with special guest guitarist and longtime friend of Laf, Mike Payne.

“As well as local Biffy Clyro tribute band Not The Biff.

“There will be rock and roll bingo with Big Jim’s party night, a DJ set and a raffle with fabulous prizes from local businesses, all to raise funds for AMMF.

"Laf would have loved the fact that so many people are coming together to rock out and raise money for a cause so close to his heart.”

Last year’s event took place at The Bull in Colchester, with friends and family gathered to celebrate Laf’s life.

His former bands all performed in a nod to Laf’s memory.

"Laf was an amazing human being and father, who loved playing and listening to music with his friends and three children," added Steven.

“Laf believed in raising funds for AMMF - the UK’s only cholangiocarcinoma charity and raised funds himself, including completing the gruelling Paras 10-mile charity run just 24 hours after completing radiotherapy.

“Bile duct cancer is a rare condition and research is underfunded, something which Laf felt he had to raise awareness of.”

Gazette: Performer - Laf had previously played in bands such as Voodoo Child and The Purple DawgsPerformer - Laf had previously played in bands such as Voodoo Child and The Purple Dawgs (Image: Submitted)

Tickets costing £6 for this year's event are available by visiting Everbrite and searching “Rock for Research”.

There is an age restriction of seven years and older.