Alan Longmuir, co-founder of the Bay City Rollers, dies in hospital after falling ill on holiday

Alan Longmuir performing in London in 2016 - 2016 Brian Rasic
Alan Longmuir performing in London in 2016 - 2016 Brian Rasic

Alan Longmuir, one of the founding members of the Bay City Rollers, the hugely popular 1970s Scottish pop band, has died at the age of 70.

The bass guitarist had recently returned to Edinburgh for treatment after falling ill while on holiday in Mexico three weeks ago.

He is understood to have contracted a virus and was flown back to the UK for treatment at the Forth |Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

His family said he passed away peacefully and described him as “an extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart”.

Formed at the end of the 1960s, the Bay City Rollers enjoyed huge success at home and abroad with their distinctive outfits, featuring half-mast, tartan-trimmed trousers, and upbeat pop tunes, including Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang. They had a massive teen following, selling more than 100 million records.

alan longmuir - Credit: REX
The guitarist at home in 1977 Credit: REX

Longmuir joined band members Les McKeown and Stuart Wood for a Bay City Rollers reunion in 2015 with gigs quickly selling out. The original line-up also included Eric Faulkner and Longmuir's younger brother, Derek.

The band produced numerous top 10 hits, staged sell-out tours and had their own TV show before splitting in the early 1980s.

Mr McKeown, the band’s frontman, tweeted a picture of Mr Longmuir in his youth with a caption reading: "RIP Alan Longmuir... the original Bay City Roller."

His death was confirmed by the journalist Liam Rudden, writer of the Bay City Rollers musical, I Ran With the Gang.

He tweeted a statement from Mr Longmuir's family which said: "We are devastated to share the news that Alan has passed away peacefully surrounded by family.

bay city rollers - Credit: Michael Ochs Archive
The Bay City Rollers, (l to r) Erick Faulkner, Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir, Stuart Wood, Derek Longmuir, circa 1975 Credit: Michael Ochs Archive

"He was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart. He brought so much love and kindness to everyone he met, and he leaves a huge hole in our family.

"He would humbly say he was 'just a plumber from Edinburgh who got lucky'. However, we are the lucky ones; the ones that were lucky enough to have Alan as part of our lives.

"We'd like to thank everyone for the love and support that they have provided so far."

Mr Rudden said he was “one of the most gentle, generous & kind-hearted people I've ever known & touched the lives of all he met with a smile that made them feel special”.

After the band split Mr Longmuir worked as a plumber and a water pipe inspector. His workmates called him Shang, after one of the band’s biggest hits.

When the group reformed in 2015 he said in one interview: “One minute I was doing the Hollywood thing, going round to Britt Ekland’s for tea, then it was all over and I was doing rounds in my little van, like Postman Pat.”

He was involved with other band members in a long-running court case over millions of pounds they believed they were owed from the days of “Rollermania”.

Six band members began a multi-million pound suit against the Arista record company in 2007, but in 2016 it was reported that they won less than £70,000 each in an out-of-court settlement.