The Pogues have issued a statement paying tribute to their late guitarist, Phil Chevron, who died of cancer on Tuesday (Oct. 8) at age 56. Chevron, whose real name was Philip Ryan, joined the band in 1984 and occasionally handled lead vocals along with main singer Shane MacGowan. Chevron remained with The Pogues after former Clash frontman Joe Strummer replaced MacGowan in 1991, but left the group three years later due to poor health. When The Pogues reformed in 2001, Chevron remastered their back catalog and figured heavily in the band’s annual reunion tours.

The Pogues’ statement reads, in part: “It has been no consolation that we have all had months to prepare for the worst; when the worst came, the preparations we had made turned out to be futile, and the impact has been felt very deeply. The hole that his death has left will be huge. He was a remarkable and fantastically talented colleague, but most of all a friend. Philip will be missed terribly and will always be in our hearts.”

You can read the entire statement at The Pogues’ website.