Bay City Roller Les McKeown died ‘with a heavy heart’

McKeown's family said a corner stated a history of alcohol and drug use contributed to the star's death.

Bay City Roller Les McKeown died ‘with a heavy heart’ Getty Images

The family of Bay City Rollers star Les McKeown have said he died “with a heavy heart” following years of alcohol and drug use.

McKeown died suddenly at home in April earlier this year at the age of 65.

On Wednesday, a post on the Bay City Rollers Facebook page stated the family had attended Poplar Coroner’s court to learn the cause of McKeown’s death.

The post, signed by McKeown’s wife Peko Keiko and son Jubei, said: “The coroner, Madam Hassell, recorded a verdict that Leslie died of a combination of natural causes, hypertrophic heart disease accelerated by type 2 diabetes mellitus made worse by the long term effects of high blood pressure and a history of alcohol and drug use.”

His son Jubei added: “My Dad always wore his heart on his sleeve so it wasn’t surprising to hear the coroner say that he had a ‘heavy heart’.”

The Bay City Rollers sold more than 100 million record with McKeown at the helm.Getty Images

McKeown was the lead singer of the tartan-clad pop-band during their most successful era in the mid-70s when they found worldwide fame with hits such as Shang-A-Lang and Saturday Night.

The Rollers had a massive teen following and sold more than 100 million records, and in the press were heralded as “biggest group since the Beatles”.

However McKeown struggled with alcohol addiction and the Facebook post added the family were “confused and saddened” when people gave him alcoholic drinks.

The post continued: “Ultimately, he made his own choices but people made it easier for him to make the wrong choices by putting alcohol in his hands.”

The family have encouraged people to donate to the Music Support UK charity in memory of McKeown to support people in the music industry affected by anxiety, depression, addiction and alcoholism. 

A cover of Danny Boy by McKeown with Vanessa Anne Redd, which was played at his funeral, has also been released, with all proceeds also going to the charity.

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