The passing of Leonard, the guitarist of progressive rock band Man, was announced on Wednesday (01Feb17).

A message posted on the rocker's website reads, "I am very sad to relate that Deke Leonard has sadly passed away. A hugely talented musician, song writer, raconteur, and all round good bloke, he will be missed by many."

Man rose to fame in the late 1960s, with the musician, credited under his real name of Roger Leonard, contributing to records including their 1969 debut Revelation, 2 Ozs (ounces) of Plastic with a Hole in the Middle and their self-titled 1971 album.

After being fired from the band in 1972, he formed the group Iceberg before rejoining Man in 1974. Man disbanded in 1976, leading Leonard to reform Iceberg once again.

In their later years members of Man, including Leonard, appeared with their offspring in a group dubbed Son of Man. He also developed a reputation as a witty raconteur, telling tales about the hard living music scene of the '60s and '70s.

Leonard's friend, the filmmaker Kevin Allen, told the South Wales Evening Post, "Deke was a true gentleman of acid rock and he had a fantastic presence on stage. How on earth he survived that era to remain so erudite and engaging was a mystery. Deke was such an interesting, gentle and lovely person and he was part of a dying breed - he'll be really missed."

George Jones, the son of late Man guitarist Micky Jones, said that Leonard had been in great spirits lately.

"He was saying he wanted to do something this year with Iceberg, and had been working on material. I feel like I have lost a parent. Deke was one of life's gents," he shared.

In the late 1960s, the rocker could reportedly count Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon as fans, and often joked that although he had never watched Hendrix perform, the legendary Purple Haze rocker had in fact come to see him play.

A cause of death is yet to be announced. He is survived by his wife Mary.