FOUNDER member of Mott The Hoople, Peter Overend Watts, has died- just over a year after his fellow bandmate and friend passed away.

Watts passed away at St Michael's Hospice on January 22, aged 69, following a long illness.

He was born in Yardley, Birmingham, before he moved to Ross-on-Wye and attended Ross Grammar School in 1963, where he met lifelong friend, Dale Griffin, aka Buffin.

They played together in many local bands, including The Anchors, before they were instrumental is forming Mott the Hoople. Griffin passed away on January 17 last year, aged 67, after suffering with Alzheimer's.

It was when the two met Mick Ralphs and Stan Tippins that they collectively formed The Doc Thomas Group, and following changes to the line-up in 1968, keyboard player Verden Allen joined and they changed their name to The Shakedown Sound.

In 1969 they all moved to London and came to the attention of record producer Guy Stevens who auditioned Ian Hunter and appointed him as their lead singer and Mott The Hoople was formed.

Allen, who lives in Wales, paid tribute to his bandmate and said: "Pete was a warm, funny, intelligent, talented and hugely charismatic person, simply unique in all ways. You'd only need to spend a small amount of time in his company to know that. Whether it was his fishing, rock and roll history or walking exploits, he always had an entertaining story to tell.

"There are no words to explain how much he will be missed, and by so many that he was an inspiration to.

"Our thoughts go out to his sister, friends and anyone hurting for his loss at this difficult and sad time.

"Pete Overend Watts, rock and roll royalty. You really were one of the very best. It was an honour to have been your lifelong friend and to have shared a stage with you."

Watts was instrumental in getting David Bowie to write a song for the band and initially was offered the song Suffragette City, which he turned down before Bowie wrote especially for the band their now anthem All The Young Dudes.

Visually the band also stood out and it was hard not to notice Watts in his thigh high platform boots, silver hair with a custom made bass guitar in the shape of a swallow.

Following the departure of Hunter from Mott The Hoople in 1974, Watts along with Griffin and Morgan Fisher formed MOTT with Ray Majors and Nigel Benjamin.

In 1976 following the departure of Benjamin the remaining members regrouped as British Lions with former Medicine Head singer songwriter John Fiddler until their demise in the late 70s when punk hit with a vengeance.

During the 80s, Watts and Griffin formed a production company Grimtone Productions and produced albums for Hanoi Rocks and The Cult, as well as hit singles such as Department S, Is Vic There.

Watts, who lived in Ross-on-Wye, then opened a large retro store in Hereford called The Dinosaur Market, which The Shack Revolution now occupies. It proved popular with customers from UK and abroad with its specialist clothing, unusual antiquities, instruments and rare music.

In 2003 after selling the store at the age of 55 he turned his energies to fishing and walking and walked the 650 miles of the SW Coast Path National Trail.

In January 2009 it was announced that the original members of Mott The Hoople would reform for three 40th anniversary concerts at Hammersmith Apollo, which was extended to five shows due to public demand.

In November 2013 the band reunited again for the final time (with Martin Chambers on drums) for a series of farewell UK gigs in Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle before Mott The Hoople’s last ever performance at The o2 London.