The Smiths’ bassist Andy Rourke has died aged 59, his former bandmate Johnny Marr has said.
A post on Marr’s Twitter account said on Friday morning: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans.
“We request privacy at this sad time.”
With the original line-up comprised of Rourke, frontman Morrissey, guitarist Marr and drummer Mike Joyce, The Smiths had a string of hits in the 1980s with songs like Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now and Girlfriend In A Coma.
The demise of the Manchester four-piece was one of the most spectacular in the UK music world, the fallout of which saw Joyce and Rourke taking Morrissey and Marr to court over royalties in 1989.
The band, powered by the songwriting partnership of Marr and Morrissey, split up in 1987, having released albums including The Smiths and Meat is Murder and earning three top 10 hits.