Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron dies following long battle with cancer

The musician, an influential figure in the Irish punk scene and the writer behind 'Thousands Are Sailing', has passed away at the age of 56

Pogues guitarist Phil Chevron has died at the age of 56 following a long battle with cancer.

The musician, whose real name is Philip Ryan, reportedly died this morning. He was first diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2007, and was given a clean bill of health.

However, just months later a new tumour appeared and was deemed inoperable.

A message on The Pogues' website said: "After a long illness Philip passed away peacefully this morning. We all send our sincere condolences to his family."

Earlier this year, Shane MacGowan and Roddy Doyle appeared at a benefit night to raise money for his medical care.

Chevron is regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish punk.

He grew up in Santry, north Dublin, and was a founding member of the punk rock outfit The Radiators From Space. He later played guitar for The Pogues, joining the band in time for their second album, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, in 1985.

Chevron penned one of the band's most enduring songs, "Thousands are Sailing".

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