Andy Rourke, the bassist for indie legends The Smiths, has died aged 59.

The death was announced by fellow band member Johnny Marr.

He said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.

“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans.

“We request privacy at this sad time.”

Rourke played in The Smiths, the alternative indie band from the 1980s fronted by Morrissey, who had hits such as This Charming Man and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.

He also played with artists such as The Pretenders, Sinead O’Connor and Badly Drawn Boy.