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The Troggs. Picture: Getty Images

Reg Presley, lead singer of British 1960s rock band The Troggs, has died aged 71, a friend says.

Presley, best known for hits including Wild Thing and Love Is All Around, had announced a year ago that he was battling cancer and would retire from the band.

Veteran music journalist Keith Altham, a close friend of Presley's, wrote on his Facebook page that the singer had died "surrounded by family and friends" on Monday at his home in Andover, southeast England.

"My dear old pal Reg Presley of The Troggs died today," he wrote.

"He was one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world. Our thoughts are with his wife Brenda and the family and those legion of fans who loved his music and his band. I will miss him hugely."

He added that the singer had suffered a number of recent strokes as well as being diagnosed with cancer.

Presley's daughter Karen told the music website WENN: "He passed away peacefully at home and myself, my brother and our mother were with him. We're absolutely heartbroken."