Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

'Missing' singer Rafferty is fine

Gerry Rafferty
Gerry Rafferty is working on new material for a summer release

Singer Gerry Rafferty has issued a statement to say he is "extremely well" at his house in Tuscany despite rumours that he had gone missing.

It was reported this week that worried friends of the musician thought he had disappeared after he was hospitalised six months ago for liver failure.

In a solicitors' statement, Rafferty said he was still composing and hoped to release an album this year.

The Baker Street singer offered "a personal thank you" to concerned fans.

The Scottish singer and his band Stealers Wheel had a hit in 1972 with Stuck in the Middle with You, a song which became popular again when it was used the film Reservoir Dogs.

Bogus sightings

The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Rafferty's Stealers Wheel band mate Tony Williams had contacted police about the singer.

He and Rafferty's family had not heard from the singer in over six months after his departure from St Thomas' Hospital London in August 2008.

Rumours circulated on the internet with Rafferty sightings reported in a Bournemouth bed and breakfast and a central London restaurant.

However, Rafferty said he had been at his Tuscan home, just north of Florence, for the last six months.

Hearing of the statement, Williams said: "I'm delighted he's fine."

Rafferty started out as a busker on the London underground and his biggest hit, Baker Street, was based on his experiences there.

The song is still in constant rotation on soft rock music stations around the world, earning Rafferty thousands in royalties.

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