Original sticksman Chris Curtis has passed away aged 63…

CHRIS CURTIS original drummer with 60s pop group THE SEARCHERS, has died aged 63.

Curtis, who was with the Liverpool band from their inception until 1966, died after a long illness, BBC News reports.

The Searchers, who sold millions with hits including ’Needles And Pins’ and a cover of The Drifters’ ’Sweets For My Sweet, signed to Pye in 1963 and have remained a going concern via several line-up changes.

After leaving The Searchers, Curtis – real name Christopher Crummey – had a top five hit under the title The Flowerpot Men with ’Let’s Go To San Francisco’ and also featured in Deep Purple precursor band Roundabout, but left before they found success.

Curtis also had a career as a producer, before retiring from music professionally and joining the civil service, he did how perform again with charity band The Merseycats.