Andy Fletcher, a founding member of Depeche Mode, has died at the age of 60, the band have confirmed.
A statement on the Depeche Mode Facebook page reads: “We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate Andy “Fletch” Fletcher.
“Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh or a cold pint.
“Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time.”
Fletcher was a schoolmate of fellow Mode founder Vince Clarke and played bass in the duo’s short-lived band No Romance in China. They were soon joined by Martin Gore in a synthesizer trio known as Composition of Sound, taking the name Depeche Mode when Dave Gahan joined as vocalist.
There was often speculation as to what Fletcher’s role within Depeche Mode actually was. Prior to Vince Clarke’s departure in 1981 he played both electric and synth bass, later adding various synth elements in support of the band’s main keyboard player and principal songwriter Martin Gore. He was the only member of the band neither to sing or receive a songwriting credit, but did handle many of their business, legal and financial affairs.
When not touring with Depeche Mode, Fletcher was also a DJ.