The family members of a late Rolling Stones fan have been told they cannot modify one of the band's lyrics for his tombstone.

Charles Clapham's sons Darren and Rick had hoped to use the line, 'It was only rock 'n' roll' as an epitaph, but officials at All Saints Church in Standon, England, where the dead man was laid to rest, have insisted the quote isn't fitting for a gravestone.

A judge has now agreed with the clergy, stating, "What is essential is that any such inscription gives a message which conveys something of Mr Clapham's character without being capable of being seen as inconsistent with the Christian Gospel."