Sabbath icon grateful to bandmates Osbourne and Butler for their continued support as he reveals they’ve managed to keep working

Tony Iommi

Not stopping: Iommi

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has completed his programme of chemotherapy, he’s revealed.

He was diagnosed with lymphoma in December last year and told fans the news a few weeks later. His cancer treatment forced the cancellation of Sabbath’s highly-anticipated reunion tour, with their appearance at this summer’s Download festival the only date to remain.

Iommi admits he’s not out of the woods yet – but says his health battle hasn’t got in the way of working on the band’s new album after singer Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler moved the production operation from the United States to England.

He reports: “I’ve had the last dose of chemotherapy so hopefully my body will start to get back to normal soon. The steroids were the worst. I’ve now got three weeks of radiotherapy coming up, which I’m told can be very tiring, so we’ll see.

“A big thanks to Ozzy and Geezer for coming over to England. It was a big incentive for me – we managed to work most days and have some great new tracks.

“And, importantly, thanks again for your kind messages. Hope to be seeing you soon.”

Sabbath’s reunion with Osbourne came after Heaven and Hell frontman Ronnie James Dio succumbed to stomach cancer in 2010. The band had planned to work with original drummer Bill Ward, but have been unable to reach a contractual agreement with him. He recently underlined that negotiations were not complete and he remained hopeful of a positive outcome.

The band’s first new album since 1995, and their first with Osbourne since 1978, is due for release later this year.

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