Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr has died at the age of 56. The sticksman, who joined up with the metal band in 1979 and played on Iron Maiden’s first three albums, had been suffering from multiple sclerosis and died in his sleep at home.

A statement published on the band’s website written by founding member Steve Harris said Burr was "a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out."

Bruce Dickinson, frontman for Iron Maiden commented further, saying: £I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his MS, Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence."

Burr had been diagnosed with the disease, which affects the brain and spinal cord, in 2001 and spent the latter years of his life confined to a wheelchair.

Burr is survived by his partner Mimi and their family.