Caravan drummer Richard Coughlan has died, aged 66.

The British musician, who spent more than 40 years playing for the prog-rock band, passed away on 1 December (13) after a long battle with ill health.

Coughlan had been sidelined from the group for several years due to health issues which left him unable to play drums, but he performed again at a reunion gig in London in 2010.

A statement from his bandmates reads, "His unique style of playing and wonderful character will be sorely missed. We pass our sincere sympathies to Richard's wife Sue, his daughter Beth, and all his family."

Coughlan began his career in music in the 1960s, playing with a group called The Wilde Flowers, and later went on to form Caravan with several of his bandmates.

His death comes just weeks after the group returned to the recording studio to work on new material.