Bay City Roller Alan Longmuir dies

Image copyright STV Productions
Image caption Alan Longmuir has died aged 70

Alan Longmuir, a founding member of the Bay City Rollers, has died.

The Edinburgh-born musician was surrounded by his family when he died at Forth Valley Hospital in Larbert at 06:00, following a short illness.

Mr Longmuir formed the Bay City Rollers with his brother, Derek, and went on to find huge chart success in the 1970s.

Paying tribute to the 70-year-old, his family said he would humbly describe himself as “just a plumber from Edinburgh who got lucky”.

Frontman Les McKeown, described his friend as “the original Bay City Roller”.

And bandmate Stuart Wood said he would “remember the good times we had for over 40 years”.

The Bay City Rollers were tartan-clad teen sensations in the UK and the US in the 1970s with hits including Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang.

At the height of their success, they were responsible for “Rollermania” and they even had their own TV show.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Mr Longmuir’s family described him as an “extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart”.

Image caption The classic Bay City Rollers line-up was Derek Longmuir, Eric Faulkner, Alan Longmuir, Les McKeown and Stuart Wood

“He brought so much love and kindness to everyone he met, and he leaves a huge hole in our family,” they added.

“He would humbly say he was ‘just a plumber from Edinburgh who got lucky’.

“However we were the lucky ones; the ones that were lucky enough to have Alan as part of our lives.”

He died three weeks after being flown home from Mexico by air ambulance. He fell ill while on holiday with his wife, Eileen.

Mr Longmuir’s friend and biographer, Liam Rudden, described him on Twitter as “one of the most gentle, generous and kind-hearted people I’ve ever known”.

He added that he “touched the lives of all he met with a smile that made them feel special”.

During their career the Bay City Rollers sold 120 million records, finding success in the UK, US, Australia and Japan.

They were mobbed by teenage girls dressed in the band’s trademark wide trousers, skinny shirts and obligatory tartan.

But at the height of their success in 1976 – the year the group cracked the US and hit the top of the Billboard charts with Saturday Night – Longmuir quit the band.

In 2015, he told a BBC Scotland documentary that the pressure was taking its toll.

“I was getting depressed. I couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

The band finally split in 1978 but bitter legal battles about money dragged on for years.

He joined a one-off concert of the Bay City Rollers at the Edinburgh Hogmanay in 1999 and further reunion gigs in 2015 and 2016.

He also returned to the stage in 2014, to appear in a show based on his life – And I Ran With the Gang – at the Edinburgh Fringe, which featured some of the band’s biggest hits.

The show was due to return to the festival this August.

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