Brian Travers dead aged 62 – UB40 star dies after 'long and heroic' cancer battle

UB40 SAX player and songwriter Brian Travers has died at the age of 62 after a "long and heroic" battle with cancer.

The musician, a founding member of the reggae band, died at his home in Moseley, Birmingham, surrounded by his family on August 22.

A statement from the band to the PA news agency 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."

The reggae star revealed he suffered a seizure before Christmas and had faced a second brain tumour operation in two years.

Travers formed the band in 1978 with his mates from various schools across Birmingham, choosing their name as a reference to a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits at the time.


They performed their first gig at the Hare & Hounds pub, in Kings Heath, in 1979 – and soon became one of Britain's most-loved bands.

The band produced hits including Red Red Wine and Falling In Love With You – and has 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.

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

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