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

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 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."

The singer had announced his retirement in January 2012 after he was taken ill during a gig in Germany the previous month.

"During my stay in hospital tests showed that in fact I have lung cancer," he wrote in a letter posted on the band's website.

"I am receiving chemotherapy treatment and at the moment not feeling too bad.

"However I?ve had to call time on The Troggs and retire. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the cards and calls and for your love, loyalty and support over the years."

The Troggs' manager did not immediately respond when contacted by AFP.