Philip Chevron, guitarist with folk-punk band the Pogues, died of cancer on Tuesday aged 56, the group announced on their website.

"After a long illness Philip passed away peacefully this morning," said the message. "We all send our sincere condolences to his family."

Chevron was treated for head and neck cancer in 2007, but a new inoperable tumour appeared in August 2012.

The Dublin-born guitarist formed punk band The Radiators from Space in 1976 before joining the Pogues, best known for Christmas hit single "Fairytale of New York", in 1984.

He went on to complement main songwriter Shane McGowan, contributing one of the band's best-loved songs, "Thousands Are Sailing".