TRIBUTES have flooded in for a talented musician who died when a car crashed into a pub.

Stuart McClung, 36, died after a white Nissan Qashqai hit the smoking area of The Spinnaker pub, in Hythe Quay, Colchester, at about 12.50am on Sunday.

Stuart was a musician, DJ and a founding member of reggae band New Town Kings.

Since forming in 2006, the eight-piece band, named after an area in Colchester, had become one of the town’s biggest musical success stories.

Mr McClung’s partner Vikki Spall and his sister Kelly McClung said: “Stu was a kind and gentle soul, a talented musician, and a much-loved brother, partner and friend.

“We would like to thank our family and friends for their support and kind words, and the emergency services and staff of Colchester Hospital for all they have done for us.”

Gazette: Stuart McClungStuart McClung

Friends and colleagues have also taken to social media to pay tribute to a “humble” and “inspirational” man.

Promotion company Essex Rocks posted on Facebook: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Stuart McClung of the New Town Kings who passed away at the weekend. “We were fortunate enough to have known Stuart for the best part of 20 years and to have worked with him since our inception back in 2006.

“As well as being a fantastic musician and producer he was a funny, humble and inspirational man. He will live on through the amazing music he has created and will be greatly missed. RIP Stu.”

DJ Ben Howard, founder of Keep Colchester Cool, said on Facebook: “A talented musician, a brilliant DJ and record producer but more importantly than that he was a humble man - so cool and easy to work with. That’s how I’ll remember Stuart McClung. RIP man.”

The Gazette’s entertainment reporter Neil Darcy-Jones added: “I interviewed him many times and he was such a lovely human being, super passionate about his music and the town where he lived.

“Such a loss to the local music scene as well as one of our greatest champions.”

Ian Winter, 34, and Carl Joyner, 33, were injured in the collision as well as a 34-year-old woman.

A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including murder but has since been released under investigation.

Essex Police would like to hear from any witnesses. Contact 101 quoting incident 63 of November 3 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.