Thin Lizzy have led the tributes to Belfast-born Gary Moore who has tragically died aged just 58.

The rock and blues guitarist passed while on holiday in Spain in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving the music world in mourning.

Moore was best known for his work with Thin Lizzy, a band he was brought into by singer Phil Lynott. The pair had played together previously in Irish group Skid Row.

His former band mates Brian Downey and Scott Gorham have expressed their sadness at his death, while insisting his contribution to both the band to music will ‘live on forever.’

Downey said: “I am in total shock. I have known Gary since 1967 when he was in Platform Three and he’s been an amazing friend ever since.

“It was a pleasure to play with Gary again in 2006 after his days with Lizzy. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I just can’t believe he is gone.”

Gorham added: “Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience, he was a great player and a great guy. I will miss him.”

As the news broke, Thin Lizzy’s 2011 line-up were preparing for a show in Vienna with current frontman Ricky Warwick vowing the blow the roof off the venue for Moore.

On his Facebook page Warwick said: “I am very shocked and saddened by the sudden death of one of the Thin Lizzy family – fellow Belfast man Gary Moore.

“Tonight’s show will of course be in Gary’s honour and all our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Niall Stokes, editor of Irish musical magazine Hot Press, said Moore was a genius.

He said: “Even as a teenager, he had something special about him and throughout his career he worked really hard at improving his technique.

“His contribution to the Irish rock canon was immense, both in his own solo work, his days with Skid Row, the great records he recorded with Philip Lynott and with Thin Lizzy and in various other cameos. My heart goes out to all of his close friends and family. It is a huge loss.”

Moore was just 16 when he moved from Belfast to Dublin to join Skid Row – who were fronted by Lynott.

This sparked a lengthy but sometimes frosty relationship with Lynott. However the pair joined forces many times over the years, notably on the hit single ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and a later single ‘Out In The Fields’ which reached No 5 in the UK charts.

No details have yet been released about his death in a luxury hotel in Estepona. A post-mortem is expected to be carried out in the nearby city of Malaga.

Story by By Eric Mackinnon at www.rockaaa.com