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Tributes to popular Stortford hairdresser Jan Premadasa, a man who was 'full of magic and spark' and loved by all

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Family and friends of a popular hairdresser who has died have spoken of the man who was "full of magic and spark" and loved by all.

Tributes have flooded in for Janaka 'Jan' Premadasa, who worked in several salons in the Bishop's Stortford and Stansted area over the years. He died after a short battle with cancer. He was 62.

On Tuesday (June 14) his daughters Jemelle, 32, Camilla, 30, and Lydia, 26, told the Indie the flood of messages and love the family had received showed how their father touched the lives of so many.

Janaka Premadasa with daughters Camilla, Jemelle and Lydia (57318488)
Janaka Premadasa with daughters Camilla, Jemelle and Lydia (57318488)

"We are forever proud," they said. "He was absolutely one of a kind, loved life and lived unashamedly his way, full of magic and spark."

Janaka was born in Sri Lanka and came to the UK when he was three. He attended The Downs primary and Netteswell comprehensive schools in Harlow.

He was a talented footballer and played for several clubs in the Harlow and Stortford area. His hairdressing got in the way of him playing at a semi-professional level as it would have meant him turning out on a Saturday

Janaka Premadasa (57306546)
Janaka Premadasa (57306546)

Jan was a Spurs fan and often watched their home games. He loved music and "was a real soul/funk boy".

Well known and respected as a hairdresser in Stortford, he worked at the former Crouch and Haskins in North Street in the early 1980s and opened Edward James salon in 1989. Latterly he worked at Lino Thomas in Stansted, and in a Facebook post the Cambridge Road salon paid tribute to "Jan the Legend".

He was separated from wife Nicola but they remained great friends. He lived with his partner Lorna in Stortford and, as well as his three daughters, he had two grandchildren, Dashiel and Sofia, who he adored.

Friend of nearly 40 years Diana Attwood posted on the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation's Facebook page how her heart broke when she heard the news of Jan's death. She said that he was "hugely loved" by all who knew him.

Her post attracted nearly 50 comments from people expressing their shock at his passing and their fondness for the man.

Neighbour Katie Horwood said that Janaka was "always smiling and... always had time for a chat".

Diana suggested he be honoured with some form of memorial. Nadia Sarfraz agreed, suggesting money be raised for a bench or a tree in his name.

Janaka's brother Ruan said that he would have been so honoured that suggestions of a tribute had even been thought of. "He was a truly wonderful brother and loved Bishop's Stortford," he said.

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