Former Whitesnake star MEL GALLEY has lost his battle with cancer.
The 59-year-old guitarist revealed he was seriously ill in February (08), telling fans he didn't have long to live.
In a candid post on his MySpace.com page, he wrote, "I've had a fantastic life. I have been very lucky. I have seen some great bands, and played with many great musicians.
"I have enjoyed some tremendous experiences. I am thankful that I can say a proper goodbye to all the friends I have made, who are now rallying round me."
The star, who also performed with classic rock acts Trapeze and Phenomena, revealed his final weeks were full of fun of fun and laughter.
In a recent post, he wrote, "Friends visit me each day, I have drugs in me 24/7, and I have a plentiful supply of gin and tonic by my bedside. I even have my own ice machine! In fact, it's just like my Whitesnake days."
Born in Staffordshire, England, Galley was forced to quit Whitesnake after injuring his arm in a fairground accident in Germany.
He suffered nerve damage and pioneered a spring and wire device, known as The Claw, that was fitted to his hand to enable him to play the guitar.
During Whitesnake's recent European tour, frontman David Coverdale dedicated Love Ain't No Stranger to his sick pal. Galley wrote the song with the singer.
Trapeze frontman Glenn Hughes has paid tribute to his childhood friend, stating, "I'll see you in the Garden one day, and truly recognise you as my brother."