UB40 sax player and songwriter Brian Travers has died at the age of 62, the band has revealed.
The musician, a founding member of the reggae band, died at his home in Moseley surrounded by his family on August 22.
Brian had previously revealed he was facing a second brain tumour operation in two years after suffering a seizure before Christmas of last year.
UB40’s Brian Travers dead aged 62: Band pays tribute to saxophonist and songwriter ‘after a long and heroic battle with brain cancer’ (pictured in 2019)
A statement from the band said: ‘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 after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with Brian’s wife Lesley, his daughter Lisa and son Jamie.
‘We are all devastated by this news and ask that you respect the family’s need for privacy at this time.’
Tragic: The musician, a founding member of the reggae band, died at his home in Moseley surrounded by his family on August 22 (pictured in 2018)
Tributes from heartbroken fans flooded in, as they took the time to share messages and anecdotes on their Twitter pages.
One penned: ‘Just heard the sad news, Brian Travers saxophonist with @UB40 has passed away. I was lucky to spend an evening chatting with Brian, must have been 3 years ago after the Brum v QPR game… just the most lovely down to earth decent man. God bless you fella, Rest In Peace.’
Another added: ‘Brian Travers. RIP. Very sad indeed… 62… without doubt a big influence on the Birmingham music scene and beyond. Rest easy Fella.’
‘There’s only one Brian Travers, RIP,’ a third fan wrote while another added: ‘RIP to the brilliant Brian Travers. A genius and scholar of life we were lucky to have him.’
Sad: Tributes from heartbroken fans flooded in, as they took the time to share messages and anecdotes on their Twitter pages
‘#RestInHeavenlyPeace UB40’s Brian Travers,’ a third fan penned.
Another continued: ‘RIP Brian Travers (UB40). A true Brummie and a great guy. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Brian 3/4 times. And had a pint with him in the Hare And Hounds, a great laugh.’
One devastated fan also tweeted: ‘So sorry to hear of the passing of UB40 saxophonist Brian Travers. Always good fun to watch live, passed away at just 62.’
Following the news of Travers’ death, Dr David Jenkinson, interim chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: ‘All of us at The Brain Tumour Charity are deeply saddened by Brian’s death.
‘Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and with everyone who was inspired by his career and the success of the band.
‘His loss is a fierce reminder of why we must move further and faster every day in the battle against brain tumours, so that other families do not have to endure this kind of heartbreak in the future.’
Travers formed the band in 1978 with his bandmates from various school across Birmingham, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.
The band hosted their first gig at the Hare & Hounds pub, in Kings Heath, in 1979 – and soon became one of Britain’s best loved groups.
Band: UB40 – Astro, James Brown, Duncan Campbell, Robin Campbell, Brian Travers and Earl Falconer pictured in 2009
The band produced hits including Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You and have sold 100 million albums worldwide.
They have scored more than 40 top 40 songs in the UK and are recognised as one of the country’s most successful bands.
Travers’ last performance with the band was at a concert in December 2019 held at the Arena Birmingham.
The band line-up remained the same for nearly three decades until January 2008, when Ali Campbell left the band.
In June this year UB40 frontman Duncan Campbell announced his retirement from music due to ill health and was replaced by Kioko musician Matt Doyle as the band’s lead singer.
Tumour: Brian had revealed he was facing a second brain tumour operation in two years after suffering a seizure before Christmas of last year
Doyle joined the most recent line-up of Robin Campbell, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Laurence Parry, Tony Mullings, Martin Meredith and Travers.
Duncan, 63, is in recovery from a stroke last year and has now stated that he has ‘reluctantly decided to retire’ from the band, which also features his brother Robin.
In a statement, he said: ‘Unfortunately, due to continued ill health, I have reluctantly decided to retire from the band so as to focus on my recovery.
‘I am very grateful, and would like to express my sincere thanks to the fans for all their support during this time and indeed throughout my time with UB40.
‘The band have my full support going forward and, of course, my very best wishes for the future with their new singer.’
A statement from the band said: ‘We can confirm that our lead singer and brother Duncan Campbell was taken to hospital after suffering a stroke.
‘While we can report that he is already up and about, we ask fans to respect Duncan and the family’s privacy as he works his way back to what we all hope will be a strong and speedy recovery.
‘We look forward to seeing you all on the road next spring.’
Stroke: In June, UB40 star Duncan Campbell announced he was quitting music after suffering a seizure at his home last month amid a multitude of health woes (pictured in July 2018)