HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a grandfather-of-four who has died after battling a rare syndrome and five different types of cancer.

Steve Tinsley, 61, and his family spoke to the Telegraph & Argus before Christmas, in the hope of raising awareness about Lynch Syndrome.

It’s an inherited disorder that dramatically increases the risk of many types of cancer and Steve was tested for the condition after a string of devastating diagnoses.

After fighting since 2011, Steve was able to spend one final Christmas with his family before he passed away at the Marie Curie Hospice on January 8.

His family, who live in Idle, have now paid an emotional tribute and have vowed to continue to raise awareness about Lynch Syndrome in Steve’s memory, particularly as his son Matthew and brother Gary have also tested positive.

Debbie, 58, Steve’s wife of 36 years, said: "The cancer was never going to take over his life. He knew it was there and we all knew it was there - his life was never going to be ruled by it, he made sure of that. He never moaned about it."

She described him as her "soulmate" and added: “He was a family man, he just totally idolised his family and wanted the best for them.”

His family said he was a hard worker who loved cricket, a sport he had been involved in all his life. Being a Huddersfield-born lad, he also followed the town's football team and loved singing, with 'Amarillo' and 'Rhinestone Cowboy' being favourites.

The John Breare Cricket Club, the longest-serving club in the Bradford & District Evening Cricket League, was named after the printing business Steve owned for 25 years.

He sold the firm as the industry began to change and joined Debbie for their dog walking business Walkies.

The past eight years have taken their toll on the close-knit family, but they have many happy memories of him.

Debbie and Steve's son Matthew, 33, said: "He always made people feel welcome.

"He was always involving people wherever he went. He was always the entertainer, everyone loved his jokes."

While daughter Donna, 35, added: "We are just really proud of the way he faced things.

"He was never defeated. He never once said 'why me?'. He was just an inspiration to everybody, the way he faced it."

As well as raising awareness about Lynch Syndrome, Debbie and Matthew are also planning to trek the Himalayas next year for Marie Curie as a thanks for the support provided.

Steve's funeral will be held tomorrow (January 31) at the Holy Trinity Parish Church, Town Lane, Idle at 11.45am, followed by a celebration of life at Shipley Golf Club. Family flowers only. Donations to Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford.