Thunder's Ben has cancer

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Thunder guitarist Ben Matthews is to receive medical attention for a malignant tumour found during a routine operation, the band have reported.

The 50-year-old was replaced by The Union’s Pete Shoulder for their Calling festival appearance at the end of June while he recovered from tonsil surgery.

Frontman Danny Bowes says: “The surgeon found some ‘extra’ matter attached to one of them, and after some tests, it was found to be malignant.

“In effect he has cancer and needs treatment, which will mean a course of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Whilst the treatment is not pleasant, we’re told the percentage chances of a happy outcome are ‘in the high 90s’.”

Thunder have promised to keep fans updated with 50-year-old Matthews’ progress and add: “In the meantime please join us in wishing him well.”

The band revealed in May that they’d decided to record a follow-up to 2009’s Bang, which was originally intended to be their final work.