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Lifelong friend of Jonny Walker pays tribute to much-loved Leeds musician

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A childhood friend of tragic Leeds busker Jonny Walker has paid tribute to the popular musician and social activist.

Lucinda Yeadon grew up with father-of-two Jonny, 37, in Calverley and has been left in shock at the street performer's sudden death this week.

She had known him and his family for 25 years and attended Woodhouse Grove School in Apperley Bridge with him.

"It's a massive loss on a personal level, but also because of the amazing work he did, the people he inspired and the vibrancy he brought to Leeds," said Lucinda, who is Labour ward councillor for Kirkstall.

"I'm grateful that he was a part of my life. There's been an outpouring of love, which is a testament to the sort of person Jonny was. There is a lot of sadness and also gratitude."

After leaving school, the pair re-connected as adults and bonded over their shared love of music and politics.

"We have a lot in common, although he was a much more talented musician than me! He was a great activist, a campaigner for street performers who did a lot to make that culture open to all.

"So many people knew Jonny and their lives were touched by his activism. He had an impact not just in Leeds, but all over the country."

Jonny's family, who have chosen not to release details about his death, are planning to hold an inclusive memorial service in a venue large enough to accommodate his many friends and fans.

"There will be definitely be an opportunity for people to celebrate his life," added Lucinda.