Andy Rourke's heartfelt message to The Smiths bandmate in last photo before death

Andy Rourke, 59, best known as The Smiths bassist, shared a photograph of himself with a brand new Fender guitar just weeks before his sad death was confirmed today.

The news was broken by Andy's bandmate Johnny Marr, 59, who took to Twitter on Friday morning (19 May) to call the musician a “kind and beautiful soul”.

He tweeted: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.

“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans.

“We request privacy at this sad time,” the guitarist added.

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Before his death, Rourke shared various photographs of himself, Marr, and his many famous friends to his Instagram feed.

The last picture of himself that she shared with his 17,200 followers was back in February.

In the image, Rourke can be seen standing in front of a curtained window and a glass seat which accompanied a high table.

To his right were two large speakers, a record player, and various vinyl records with their spines turned in.

Rourke himself is front and centre in the picture, wearing denim jeans, a black pullover and a pair of lace-up black boots.

He’s holding a stunning Fender bass guitar and in the caption thanked the company for their generosity.

He wrote: “Big thank you to @fender to rush this bass through! I love it! Thanks Johnny @johnnymarrgram.”

In the comment section, Marr replied to the shoutout and simply wrote: “The best.”

Despite The Smiths splitting up in 1987 - due to internal tensions and royalties lawsuits - Rourke and Marr have since remained firm friends.

The Ardwick-born musician frequently popped up in pictures posted to the late Rourke’s social media.

The last picture that the pair featured in together was posted on January 17 — Rourke’s 59th birthday.

In the shared selfie, Rourke is front-and-centre while Marr is on his left.

The caption reads: “Grateful for the people in my life and thank you all for the birthday love today.”

His lifelong friend commented: “Happy Birthday mate. J Xx.”

The Manchester-based musician joined The Smiths in 1982 after replacing the band’s original bassist, Dave Hibbert.

As well as the indie group, Rourke is known for playing in the North West supergroup, Freebass.

The bass-heavy group consisted of him, New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, 67, and the Stones Roses’ Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield, 60.

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