British rocker Vini Reilly has thanked fans for their donations to help pay his bills after health issues left him struggling to play his guitar, insisting their generosity has "lifted the weight of the world" from his shoulders.
The Durutti Column frontman was hospitalised in 2010 after suffering a series of seizures and strokes, and he later admitted he was finding it tough to record tracks for a new album as he had lost some feeling in his left hand.
His nephew Matt Reilly revealed earlier this week (begs31Dec12) that the veteran musician was $1,920 (£1,200) in debt and could barely afford his rent and grocery bills, and he launched an online fundraising campaign for his uncle.
Fans flocked to donate to Reilly, and Matt has taken to his Facebook.com page to thank them for their support and share his uncle's gratitude.
In a post on the site, he writes, "Update: re: helping Vini Reilly... No further donations required! Firstly, a huge thank you once again to all of those who sent kind messages, ideas, and donations for Vini. I've just spoken to Vini and told him how much has been donated by fans and music lovers worldwide - he's ecstatic.
"He's said that enough has now been donated to ensure that he can pay off all of the backlog of rent that he owed, and he's asked me to pass on his huge gratitude to you all and let you know that no further donations are needed.
"He's explained that going forward he should be able to afford to pay his rent, but the debt relates to the period after he had his three strokes but before he was assessed for disability allowance.
"It has been a stressful time for Vini, with the constant worry of knowing that he couldn't afford to pay his debts and that could mean being evicted from the place he rents. But he says he now feels like you've lifted the weight of the world off his shoulders."
Matt also told followers his uncle hopes to resume his music career when he is well enough, adding, "He has asked me to send his love to all of you... You've given him the best start to his new year that anyone could have asked for. And he's determined to fight his way back to fitness and rebuild the power in his hands so he can play guitar again."
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