London, March 15 (IANS/EFE) Clive Burr, the former drummer for the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has died after suffering for more than a decade from multiple sclerosis, British media reported Thursday. He was 56.
In an announcement made on the group's official web site, which the press in this country quoted, the band's founder and bass player, Steve Harris, said he regretted receiving the "terribly sad news" of the death of his former bandmate Tuesday at his home.
"He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out," said Harris of the drummer, who just celebrated his 56th birthday March 8.
Burr joined the legendary hard rock band in 1979 and played with them on their first three albums: "Iron Maiden" (1980), "Killers" (1981) and "The Number of the Beast" (1982).
The group's frontman, Bruce Dickinson, also paid tribute to Burr, of whom he said that "even during the darkest days of his MS, Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence".
Burr was born in 1957 in East London and before joining Iron Maiden he had also played with the British heavy metal band Samson, for which Dickinson also fronted.
When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, his former bandmates in Iron Maiden created the Clive Burr MS Trust with the aim of helping him collect money to pay for his living expenses.