Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dies aged 68

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan has died in London at the age of 68.

The musician, was just 18 when he joined the band, featured on five of their albums released between 1969 and 1972.

Branded a "huge force" in Fleetwood Mac's early years, Kirwan contributed guitar and vocal work in addition to songwriting.

A post on the band's official Facebook page by drummer Mick Fleetwood announced that he passed away late last week.

Fleetwood, who recruited Kirwan to join the band when he was just 18 1968, wrote: "Danny was a huge force in our early years. His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, where he made his musical home for many years.

”Danny's true legacy, in my mind, will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac, that has now endured for over 50 years. Thank, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed!"

No cause of death has been announced.

When the Brixton-born musician joined Fleetwood Mac, it included Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

His talents were featured on albums Then Play On (1969), Blues Jam at Chess (1969), Kiln House (1970), Future Games (1971) and Bare Trees (1972).

When he was just a teenager, Kirwan’s band Boilerhouse supported Fleetwood Mac at venues in London. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 for his work as part of Fleetwood Mac but did not go to the induction ceremony.

He wound up being fired from Fleetwood Mac during the tour in support of Bare Trees in 1972 due to his alcoholism. He went on to release four solo albums over the second half of the seventies.

During the eighties and nineties, he endured a period of homelessness in London and struggled with mental health issues.

Speaking to The Independent in 1993 in a rare interview after Fleetwood asked the Missing Person Bureau to seek out his former guitarist, he said: ”I’ve been through a bit of a rough patch but I'm not too bad.

“I get by and I suppose I am homeless, but then I've never really had a home since our early days on tour. I couldn't handle it all mentally and I had to get out. I can't settle."