Francis Rossi says he heard his Status Quo bandmate Rick Parfitt speak to him after his death last Christmas Eve (24.12.16).

Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt

Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt

Parfitt passed away at the age of 68 last December from sepsis a day after being admitted to a Marbella hospital to be treated for an infection affecting a pre-existing shoulder injury.

Now his bandmate Rossi, 68, has claimed that his friend - who he first met when they were both just 16 years old - spoke to him on that fateful day making a joke from beyond the grave that he didn't die on the same day as a concert.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, Rossi said: "I know it sounds ridiculous but I heard him on Christmas Eve. I heard him say to me, 'See Frame [Francis' nickname], at least I didn't die on a show day.'

"He would have known if he died on a show day or a few days before, we would have cancelled the show out of respect."

Parfitt had stepped away from the 'Whatever You Want' band in 2016 after suffering a heart attack on stage in June, six months before his passing.

Rossi did think about calling time on the band once his pal had to step away and especially once he had died, but remembering a conversation he had with Parfitt inspired him to carry on with new guitarist Richie Malone and drummer Leon Cave.

The singer said: ""I was adamant that I was going to stop. I'd had enough. But the guy we have got into the band - Richie Malone - Rick and I first met him when he was probably 14 or 15. Rick said, 'Look at that, if I die you should get him in'. We both laughed. So I didn't cry and I haven't since.

"For me to become maudlin about Rick, that wouldn't be me."