A FOUNDING member of the band credited with inspiring Kurt Cobain's music career has passed away after battling a long illness.

The Nirvana frontman's posthumous diaries revealed how Cobain was a huge fan of Delta 5, which formed in Leeds during the 1970s.

Their drummer, Kelvin Knight, 56, from Leeman Road, York, died on December 2, and is remembered as a kind and loyal friend who unearthed rare musical talent through his None More Black (NMB) Management company.

Mr Knight, along with Julz Sale, Ros Allen, Bethan Peters and Alan Rigg, are probably best known for their early 1980s hit, Mind Your Own Business.

His mother Phylis Miller, said her son had died of liver and kidney failure.

Mr Knight's father, Eric, had been a master mariner and the family moved to York when he was seven-years-old.

He passed the entrance exam for Nunthorpe Grammar School and his parents had harboured ambitions of their son becoming a solicitor before he opted for a career in music.

"When he was 13 he formed his own group, The Axe, and won a couple of talent contests," said Mrs Miller.

"His father built him a soundproof place in the garden so he could practice the drums. It did him good and got him around the world and they were given backing by John Peel."

The former Radio 1 DJ's interest helped catapult them into the spotlight and gather a national fanbase.

He worked in the York-based Red Rhino records before and after Delta 5 and while under the management of founder Tony Kostrzewa, the company supported Sisters Of Mercy, Wedding Present, Chumbawamba and March Violets.

NMB Management was set up in 2012 with the help of his friend, Guy Lovelady.

"Both Kelvin and my brother were in the York punk rock scene and he was my hero," he said.

"Without people like Kelvin we would just be stuck with Justin Bieber and Rihanna.

"I suggested he set up NMB and he took to it like a duck to water. He was great at creating links and brought bands from the States over here."

Monica Ward, lead singer of New Southern Electric, a band Mr Knight managed, said: "He was one of the most loyal people I have ever met and he will be sorely missed.

"He was as mad as a box of frogs and very quirky."

Friend Helen Bass added: "Kelvin was the kindest, funniest person I knew. He was more than a rock star, he was a total star."

Mr Knight's funeral will take place at York Crematorium on Tuesday, December 15, from 1pm.