NEWCASTLE bound band Celtic Thunder are in mourning after member George Donaldson died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Wednesday.
The band said in a statement Donaldson, 46, had died at his home in Glasgow, Scotland.
Celtic Thunder are scheduled to perform at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on May 27.
‘‘Donaldson was preparing to join his Celtic Thunder brothers to tour Australia in May, something he always looked forward to,’’ the statement said.
‘‘In recognition of this, and as George would have wanted, Celtic Thunder will respect his wishes and will honour their commitment to tour Australia on the Mythology tour which will commence in May this year.
‘‘Celtic Thunder look forward to paying homage to George with their fans.’’
Donaldson joined Celtic Thunder in 2007 and was a founding member of the internationally renown ensemble.
He told the Herald in January 2013 ahead of the group’s third visit to Australia about being a bus builder for 15 years before reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and deciding to audition for Celtic Thunder.
"That is my favourite book and one of the things in that book is you’re never too old to do anything," he said.
"If I hadn’t read that book I don’t know whether I would have just accepted my lot and just thought ’don’t take a risk in life’.’’
He is survived by his wife Carolyn and daughter, Sarah, 13.