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Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green has died age 73

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Peter Green (Andrew Stuart/PA)

Peter Green (Andrew Stuart/PA)

Peter Green (Andrew Stuart/PA)

Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green has died at the age of 73.

A statement from Swan Turton solicitors, acting on behalf of the family, confirmed the news on Saturday.

It said: "It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep.

"A further statement will be provided in the coming days."

The news comes days after Fleetwood Mac announced they are to release a retrospective boxset, documenting the band's early years between 1969 and 1974.

The influential blues rock guitarist, whose songs included Albatross, was born in London's Bethnal Green into a Jewish family.

He formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in London in 1967, after a stint in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - filling in for Eric Clapton.

Green and Fleetwood wanted John McVie to join the group on bass, and named the band Fleetwood Mac to entice him - a strategy that was ultimately successful.

Under his direction, the band produced three albums and a series of well-loved tracks including Black Magic Woman and Oh Well.

Green left Fleetwood Mac after a final performance in 1970 as he struggled with mental health difficulties and spiralling drug use, later sleeping rough.

He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in hospitals undergoing electro-convulsive therapy during the mid-70s.

The band continued with a transformed line-up featuring a core group of Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Christine McVie.

This phase gave rise to their huge albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours.

Green remerged from obscurity on a number of occasions, forming the Peter Green Splinter Group in the late 1990s with Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell.

They released nine albums between 1997 and 2004.

Speaking to the PA news agency in 1992, Fleetwood described Green as "a major talent that to this day holds out".

He added: "I consider myself very lucky to have even played with him.

"Of course it upsets me but there's nothing I can do about it. It's his life. I haven't seen him for years."

Green was among the eight members - along with Fleetwood, Nicks, Buckingham, the McVies, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer - inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Earlier this year, artists including Fleetwood, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and guitarists Jonny Lang and Andy Fairweather Low performed at the London Palladium during a gig celebrating the early years of Fleetwood Mac and Green.

PA Media