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UB40 saxophonist Brian Travers dies aged 62 after ‘heroic’ battle with brain cancer

UB40 songwriter and saxophonist Brian Travers had died at the age of 62.

Travers’ surviving band members confirmed that the musician died at his home in Moseley on Monday.

They said in a statement: ‘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.’

They added: ‘We are all devastated by this news and ask that you respect the family’s need for privacy at this time.’

Dr David Jenkinson, interim chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, also released a statement and 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.

UB40 star Brian Travers performing
(Picture: Redferns)

‘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.’

Dr Jenkinson added: ‘We are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease.’

Travers co-founded UB40 in 1978 with his bandmates from various schools across Birmingham, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.

UB40 members Astro (Terence Wilson), Norman Hassan, Brian Travers, Ali Campbell, Earl Falconer, Jimmy Brown, Robin Campbell, Mickey Virtue
UB40, including Ali Campbell, Jimmy Brown and Micky Virtue, were formed in 1978 (Picture: Getty Images)

The band produced hits including Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You and has sold 100million albums worldwide.

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, 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.

Doyle joined the most recent line-up of Robin Campbell, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Laurence Parry, Tony Mullings and Martin Meredith.

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