UB40 star Brian Travers dies aged 62

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17:  Brian Travers of UB40 performs live on stage at O2 Apollo Manchester on December 17, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)
Brian Travers of UB40 has died. (Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

UB40 musician Brian Travers has died from cancer at the age of 62.

Saxophonist Travers was a founding member of the Birmingham-based group and performed at their first gig in 1979.

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A statement on UB40's Facebook page read: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our comrade, brother, founding UB40 member and musical legend, Brian David Travers.

"Brian passed away yesterday evening with his family by his side, after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with Brian’s wife Lesley, his daughter Lisa and son Jamie.

PERTH, SCOTLAND - JULY 22:  Duncan Campbell and Brian Travers of UB40 perform live on stage during Rewind Scotland 2018 at Scone Palace on July 22, 2018 in Perth, Scotland.  (Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns)
UB40's Duncan Campbell and Brian Travers on stage together. (Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

"We are all devastated by this news and ask that you respect the family’s need for privacy at this time.”

Travers suffered a seizure just before Christmas and was told that he would once again require an operation to remove a brain tumour.

In early 2019, the star had undergone surgery to remove two tumours from his frontal cortex just as his bandmates were setting out on the band's 40th-anniversary tour.

Read more: Duncan Campbell recovering in hospital after stroke

Travers told the Birmingham Mail in January this year that he had "no fears" about his second brain surgery.

He said: "The surgeon who did my first operation is currently away, so I've been examined by one of the female doctors who helped to save Malala after the schoolgirl was shot in the head in Pakistan.

"What can go wrong when I'm in the hands of those who saved Malala? There's nothing to worry about. I'm going to be in the safest hands in the planet."

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Brian Travers attends the annual Global Gift Gala London at Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel on October 17, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
UB40's Brian Travers was diagnosed with brain tumours. (John Phillips/Getty Images)

UB40 recently replaced their frontman, announcing that Matt Doyle of band Kioko would be taking over from Duncan Campbell.

Campbell told fans he intended to retire from music in June, after suffering a stroke in August 2020 and deciding to focus on his health.

Campbell's younger brother Ali was previously UB40's main singer until he quit the group in 2008 in a disagreement over management.

Ali has since been performing as part of breakaway group UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell & Astro, and has been scathing about UB40 without him, saying that watching his brother perform the group's hits "makes my skin crawl".

UB40's well-known hits include Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You.

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