A Scottish drummer who played with Rory Gallagher and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band during an illustrious 50-year career has died.

It was announced on Saturday morning that Edward 'Ted' McKenna, who was born in Lennoxtown, had died during surgery at the age of 68.

It is believed the session musician, who began touring in 1966, passed away as a result of a haemorrhage during an elective hernia operation.

Close friend Claire Taylor broke the news on social media on Saturday morning. She wrote: "For everyone who loved him, Ted died this morning from a haemorrhage during elective surgery. Freak occurrence and a huge surgical team fought for 10 hours to save him. Unfortunately there was no solution to stop the bleeding and he faded away without ever knowing. I'm going to miss him so much."

McKenna was born in East Dunbartonshire's Lennoxtown on March 10 1950. He was then educated at St Patrick's High School, Coatbridge, learning multiple musical instruments from an early age.

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After working on a number of musical projects, he joined The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in 1972, working on all seven of the group's studio albums, touring the world and making a massive impact on the UK music scene with their experimental sound.

He then moved to working with Irish singer-songwriter Rory Gallagher in 1978, working as a band member until 1981. He also worked as a session musician for The Greg Lake Band, the Michael Schenker Group and Bugatti & Musker.

Despite primarily working as a rock musician, McKenna also played with groups in a range of genres, including American soul duo Womack & Womack.

In recent years the drummer played as part of two touring projects, Band of Friends, an act celebrating the work of Rory Gallagher, and Michael Schenker Fest, a re-uniting of former members of the Michael Schenker Group. His final work, the album 'Resurrection', was released in 2018.

Tributes to the well-known musician have been shared by friends, family and fellow musicians.

In a statement, Dónal Gallagher, brother of Rory, said: "R.I.P. Ted McKenna. Ted was a great guy and wonderful musician, I was shocked to hear of his premature passing. My sincere condolences to all Ted’s family and friends. Bless you Ted, you’ll always bring a smile to my face and delight to my ears with your playing."

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Tributes from across the music industry flooded in on Saturday after news broke of Ted's death. One of those was music promoter and chairman of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Scotland, Donald MacLeod. He wrote: "Loved this man and he will be sorely missed. Always supportive of everything I did or was part of. A legend and inspiration. RIP Ted. Gutted. Really awful news. Ted was a truly inspirational individual, a lovely and generous man."

Friend and Icicle Works frontman Ian McNabb wrote: "Our friend Ted McKenna went in for a routine hernia operation on Thursday and has apparently passed way due to a freak accident during surgery. We all loved Ted with a passion."