Fans of British rockers Iron Maiden have launched an online petition in a bid to urge the band to reinstate Derek Riggs as album artist.

The graphic artist created the group's skeleton warrior Eddie the Head, who has appeared on every Maiden album since 1980, but he was replaced as the band's go-to cover art guy in the early 1990s, with Iron Maiden's manager Rod Smallwood explaining he wanted to "upgrade" the mascot.

In a 2013 interview, Riggs insisted he was replaced because his work was getting "more attention than the music, and it upset their (band's) ego".

He added, "They were going around the world telling everybody that it was all their ideas and I was just a dumb monkey that painted it all."

Now, a growing legion of Maiden fans are keen to get back to basics and they've signed a petition aimed at prompting the band to reinstate Riggs.

They write, "Many fans view his artwork to be as influential as the music Iron Maiden produces. Things haven't been the same since he stopped being Iron Maiden's exclusive artist, so we plead with the band to bring him back for any future artwork needs."