A FAMILY has paid tribute to an inspirational grandad who raised millions of pounds to build a neurological centre.

Derek Gaskell from Lostock, died aged 88 after being ill with cancer since 2006.

But his legacy carries on as part of the Brain and Spinal Injuries Charity (BASIC), which he started in 1983, after his wife Dorothy suffered a brain haemorrhage.

She was treated at the old Salford Royal Hospital, and when she pulled through to start her lengthy recovery. Former builder Derek wanted to contribute to a brain injuries charity. He couldn’t find one so he started his own.

His son Barrie Gaskell says his kind and well-respected father then helped to raise money to help the BASIC facility close to Hope Hospital in Salford.

Barrie said: “When you look back at his life, he has done so much. From being a successful businessman to being inspired to raise money for illnesses that she had. That work still continues today with the charity in Salford.

Dorothy now has dementia and Derek had been looking after her for around five years before his death.

His illness prevented Derek from being in his usual form over the last months, but otherwise despite the cancer he was more concerned with his wife, now 86.

Barrie, who has a brother, Paul Gaskell, and sister, Zoe Gaskell, said: “He would always say he couldn’t have done anything without my mother, his wife. He was a family man and spent time with his grandchildren as well.

“I always look back with great appreciation on how we were brought up. He had to work long hours but when he was free, we went away and had a lovely family life. He was very determined to do things when he set his mind on it.”

In 2008, he also helped to pay for a costly bone density scanner to help prostate cancer victims at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Derek’s funeral will be at Lostock Church and the family anticipate many will come to pay their respects.

Barrie added: “When the cleaner came round, he was shocked to hear of his death. He started crying and said he wanted to come to the funeral. My father spoke to anyone, and they’d always have nice chats. He was loved and known by so many.”