TRIBUTES have poured in for Stourport-born rock legend Ray Thomas who has died at the age of 76.

The former flautist and vocalist with hugely popular Birmingham band The Moody Blues died suddenly on Thursday (January 4).

Proud Stourport residents took to social media to pay tribute to Ray, who was born in an emergency maternity unit set up at Lickhill Manor during the Second World War, once news of his death had been confirmed.

The Moody Blues sold millions of records and had a string of hits including Go Now, Nights In White Satin and Question.

Lisa Cooper, who runs the We Love Stourport Facebook page, said: “There have been many posts that have gone on We Love Stourport regarding Ray Thomas and the Moody Blues.

“They had a lot of local followers, everyone loved their music and were extremely proud that someone as musically talented as Ray Thomas was born in Stourport.”

Lorraine Salter added: “This is so personal for me. I’ve been a fan since I was 17. Met Ray and the group several times since then.

“So glad I met him again in 2016. Brilliant flautist, singer songwriter and a lovely man.”

Stuart Calder said: “I saw him at Kiddy Town Hall when ‘Go Now’ was in the charts - sad loss. Legends of a Mind is my fav Moodies track.”

And Jonathan Cooper said: “Such a sad loss. The Moodies album, 'Days of Future Passed', is for me right up there with the best albums ever made, and Ray Thomas played a huge part in its creation.

“Just think when you next hear that flute playing in 'Nights in White Satin', it is coming from the lips of a gentleman from Stourport-on-Severn.”

In a statement, his record label Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings: “It is with profound sorrow and sadness that we regret to announce that Ray Thomas, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey.

“We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness.

“It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time.”