Saturday 25 November 2017

Rolling Stone Bill Wyman diagnosed with prostate cancer

Bill Wyman is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and is expected to make a full recovery
Bill Wyman is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and is expected to make a full recovery

Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The 79-year-old musician, who is expected to make a full recovery, joined the rock band in late 1962.

A spokesman said: "He is undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery as it was caught in the early stages.

"The Wyman family has asked for their privacy during this time."

Born William Perks, Wyman joined the Rolling Stones shortly after the band's formation when they were beginning to play small gigs around London.

He left in 1993, and in 1997 founded his own band - Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, who last toured in 2014.

The Stones gained their first UK number one in 1964 with It's All Over Now, and went on to achieve success with hits including Gimme Shelter, Satisfaction, and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

The band has continued to record, tour and perform since Wyman's departure, and last week announced a free concert in Havana, Cuba - the first open-air concert in the country by a British rock band.

Wyman has published two autobiographical accounts of his time in the band, Stone Alone (1997) and Rolling With The Stones (2002).

The musician was pictured on Saturday at the wedding of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall, alongside his third wife, Suzanne Accosta.

In 1989, the musician also courted controversy when he married his 18-year-old girlfriend, the model Mandy Smith - who he had been dating since she was 14.

The musician, who was 52 at the time, had divorced his first wife in 1969. But he and Smith split by 1991, and divorced two years later.

Wyman went on to marry Accosta, with whom he has three daughters. He also has one son by his first wife.

Wyman last played with the Stones at the 50th anniversary shows at the O2 Arena in 2012.

However, he said he would not be interested in rejoining the Stones on a more permanent basis.

He told the Daily Express: "Thirty years was great but I've got better things to be doing now. That time has gone."

In June last year, Wyman forced Dartford council into chancing the wording on a blue plaque honouring the band after he condemned it as "disgusting".

The plaque at Dartford railway station in Kent said Dartford-born Mick Jagger and Keith Richards "went on to form The Rolling Stones".

But Wyman objected, saying it was the late Brian Jones - who drowned in Sussex in 1969 - who created the band.

Wyman, 79, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It should be a plaque to Brian Jones and I think it's wrong. I don't like history re-written."

Dartford Borough Council leader Jeremy Kite promised the plaque would be reworded, saying: "I have never upset a Rolling Stone before. We are going to put it right."

Press Association

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