LATEST: Sir Paul McCartney has paid tribute to the man widely acknowledged as the 'fifth BEATLE', following his death on Monday (24Mar08).
Neil Aspinall died of lung cancer in New York after receiving treatment for the disease. He was 66.
It is believed MCCartney travelled to Manhattan to see Aspinall in his dying days.
In a statement MCCartney says, "Neil was a great man I knew even before I met any of the guys in The Beatles. I met him at school when we were 11 and we remained friends.
"I was able to say goodbye and thank him for everything he did for us and I send my deepest sympathies to his family. I will miss him but will remember the laughs."
Aspinall served as road manager and business advisor for the Fab Four over a period of 40 years, and sang backing vocals on the group's hit Yellow Submarine.
Aspinall continued to look after The Beatles' interests as head of their record label Apple Corps until he stepped down from the post in 2007 to start his own production company.