Veteran drummer Roger Pope has died at the age of 66.

The respected musician, who played in bands with Sir Elton John, Hall & Oates, Sir Cliff Richard, and Nilsson, passed away this month (Sep13) after a battle with illness.

Born in Kent, England, Pope was playing drums in bands by his mid-teens and working as a session musician, and in the late 1960s he became one of the founding members of cult rockers Hookfoot.

His studio work included sessions for Sir Elton, and he played on the Rocket Man's debut album Empty Sky before joining the star on the road as part of his backing band in 1975.

During his career, Pope also played with blues star Buddy Guy, singer Kiki Dee, and folk singer Al Stewart.

It is believed he passed away at a nursing home in the south of England.