Tributes to much-loved hairdresser who died suddenly aged 56

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Tributes have been paid to a creative, respected and much loved hairdresser who died suddenly.

Graham Fenn, who owned Changes on Cheapside, passed away on Friday – four days before he would have turned 57.

He suffered a suspected heart attack in the Lawefield Lane home he shared with his “soulmate” of 35 years Leslie Watson.

Mr Watson said: “Graham had a natural ability to do hair. He was phenomenal. He focused on his client and his client only and knew in a second what made them look good. He created styles, he didn’t follow what was going on out there – he had it instinctively in him.

“He was so loved and respected by clients from here and America because he was a genius of his profession.”

Graham was born on April 19, 1959, in Crofton and knew from a young age that he wanted to be a hairdresser.

His training began at Philip’s Salon in Wakefield and once qualified, he worked in Leeds for the Carlo and Jeffrey Salon as head stylist. It was there where Graham was able to create new cuts and techniques for his clients.

In 1991 Graham returned to Wakefield and opened his first salon Changes, where he trained many aspiring professionals. His modern styling also caught the eye of the city’s hairdressers, with many going to him for their own cuts.

It was shortly before opening the salon that Graham met Leslie, who became co-owner and helped oversee its move from Peterson Road to Cheapside.

Senior stylist Jade Westbury said: “He was very funny, outgoing and mischievous. He was so talented and his work was his life.”

Graham’s other great passion was his faith – he was baptised at the age of 31 and was a member of the Wakefield Christian Fellowship for 26 years.