Prayers for Henry

Legendary guitarist, Henry McCullough performing at the first exhibition dedicated to Northern Ireland's rich musical hertitage at The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.'Picture by Brian Little 22/4/09
Legendary guitarist, Henry McCullough performing at the first exhibition dedicated to Northern Ireland's rich musical hertitage at The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.'Picture by Brian Little 22/4/09

Former Wings guitarist Henry McCullough is critically ill in hospital following a heart attack.

Henry (69) collapsed at his home on the outskirts of Coleraine where he was attended by his French partner Josie, while medics and an ambulance rushed to the scene.

McCullough, one of Paul McCartney’s favourites in the early days of Wings, rallied in the Causeway Hospital and is now on a ventilator.

Henry (69), is one of the best known guitarists in the world, having performed with a host of legendary artists throughout a glittering career in the music industry.

Despite early reports last week that he had died, his sister Rae Morrison said he was still fighting for his life.

She said he had suffered a heart attack on Monday and the family are worried and distressed but that they had been inundated with messages of support.

“He is a very special person,” she said.

“We really are very worried for him, his sister is on her way home from Florida and his brother is coming home from Glasgow.”

“There was some misinformation at first and we were told Henry had died,” said his friend, BBC presenter Alan Simpson. “Fortunately it wasn’t true and he is fighting hard. He is a great character and made of stern stuff.”

A young Henry was invited by former Beatle Paul McCartney to join Wings in the 1970s and spent 18 months touring with them.

Henry was also a member of Joe Cocker’s band and played with him at the legendary Woodstock concert in 1969, the only Irishman to perform there.

He spent 18 months touring and recording with Wings in the 1970s, after being invited to join the band following a number of jamming sessions with McCartney.

He has been hailed for his guitar work on the US number one hit My Love.

And McCartney wasn’t the only Beatle Henry worked alongside. He joined George Harrison’s label, Dark Horse, to record his 1975 solo album, “Mind Your Own Business.”

As The Coleraine Times went to press last night a spokesperson for Northern Health Trust said: “Mr McCullough remains in a critical condition at Causeway Hospital.”