UB40 saxophonist Brian Travers has thanked fans for their support in an emotional statement after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Founding member Travers, 60, will miss the 70s group’s 40th anniversary tour after suffering a seizure at home, with subsequent brain scans revealing two tumours.
He is due to undergo surgery on Friday, the day the groups’ tour is set to begin and is hoped to make a recovery within six months.
In an emotional statement Travers said: “It is with great regret that I shall be unable to join my band mates in UB40 on our 40th anniversary tour, the guys have worked incredibly hard to perfect the songs in preparation for the live premier of our new album For The Many.
“They sound great, but I shall be there in spirit, cheering them on from my convalescence and thinking of all the wonderful people out there who have supported us for the last 40 years, who I am now incredibly proud to count as friends.”
He went to pay tribute to fans, thanking them for allowing him to “live the dream” adding that he has lived a life with “no regrets”.
He said: “I’ve had a great life with no regrets and have absolutely nothing to add to a bucket list except getting over this and getting back to the thing I love, playing music to anyone who wants to listen and expressing myself through painting and sculpture.
“It’s been a huge privilege and I thank you all for the opportunity to ‘live the dream.'”
Red Red Wine hitmakers UB40 have confirmed that the planned tour will still go ahead as planned despite being “deeply saddened at the news”.
A statement from the band read: “We’re deeply saddened that Brian, our lifelong friend and founding member of UB40, is unable to join us for our celebratory UK tour.
“We know he will be missed by all but his health and well-being come first, and we are sure our friends and fans will join us in wishing Brian a full and speedy return to health, and return to us.”
UB40 are set to kick off their UK tour at Portsmouth’s Guildhall on Friday.
Additional reporting by Press Association