Moss, the man who discovered influential indie band The Smiths, passed away on Thursday (22Oct15) after a battle with cancer.

He was credited with helping The Smiths get on the career ladder in the early 1980s after providing the band with a rehearsal space and offering to help find them some gigs.

Moss had been pals with guitarist Johnny Marr after the then-teenager got a job in a shop next to Moss' clothes store. He stopped managing the band in 1983 after they began enjoying chart success, but continued as a gig promoter and band manager, and in 1999 he reteamed with Marr to helm his solo career.

A statement on Marr's official website reads: "We regret to announce that, after a brave struggle with cancer, Joe Moss, manager of Johnny Marr and The Smiths, has died at the age of seventy-two."

Paying tribute, Marr credited Moss with prompting his famous meeting with singer Morrissey that led to the pair forming a songwriting partnership and eventually The Smiths.

Marr says, "Joe was a one-off, an amazing person and totally unique. He started looking after me when I was seventeen; it was Joe who put the idea in my head to go and knock on Morrissey's door. He invested his time and money in us when no one else wanted to know, and his belief in us kept us going. Without him there wouldn't have been any Smiths. He was an original beatnik and a true bohemian, respected by all. Everyone who met him loved him; he can never be replaced."