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Mark E Smith’s cause of death revealed

Mark E Smith died after being diagnosed with terminal lung and kidney cancer, his sisters have revealed.

The singer of post-punk band The Fall died at the age of 60 on 24 January.

In a note on the band's official website, sisters Barbara, Suzanne and Caroline wrote that Smith had fought a "long and hard battle" following his cancer diagnosis.

"We would like to thank family, friends and fans for all their kind words, condolences and memories about our brother Mark," they wrote.

"Also, the NHS and staff who treated Mark throughout and Mark's partner Pam who loved, cared and cherished our brother.

Mark E Smith and his wife Elena Poulou - again at the Hammersmith Palais
Image: Mark E Smith and his wife Elena Poulou pictured at the Hammersmith Palais

"Mark fought a long and hard battle after his diagnosis of terminal lung and kidney cancer. He took every treatment going, which could be brutal at times and left Mark with some horrible side effects."

Smith became a cult figure with The Fall, which formed in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, in 1976 and went through many lineups in its decades-long career.

Despite his illness Smith continued to tour with the band he fronted and a new album, New Facts, was released last year. But the group had to cancel several shows as Smith's health declined.

"Mark was such a strong man and hated letting his fans down and tried to carry on regardless against all advice," his sisters wrote.

"Mark had a great life and loved and lived it to the full and always by his own rules and we, as his sisters were privileged to be part of it too.

"Mark is at peace now and pain free, but we, his three sisters have been left heartbroken and will miss our big brother very much."

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Born in Salford in March 1957, Smith wrote music in his lunch breaks while working on the Manchester docks as a shipping clerk.

He quit the docks and formed the band because, as he put it, "whatever I did would have to be better than most of the so-called punk s***e I was hearing at the time".

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