The singer and guitarist in the influential seventies rock group died from an apparently self inflicted gun shot wound, with a suicide note found nearby, a police spokesman has said.

Welch was part of the band in their early years, before leaving in the mid seventies to pursue a solo career.

“I’m so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac,” former bandmate Stevie Nicks said in a statement.

“He was an amazing guitar player – he was funny, sweet – and he was always in good humour.”

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