A SHOCKED community is mourning the sad passing of a passionate musician, artist, master of magic and local legend.

Bearded Ged Casserley, aged 57, was famed for his signature Indiana Jones fedora and leather jacket coupled his immense warm heartedness, good humour and generous spirit.

And as personal tributes rolled in on social media a flag flew a half mast at Uppermill Conservative Club out to respect to his memory.

Carl Taylor, a close friend who shared Ged’s passion for open mic music nights,

said: “He was a beautiful soul who, although not born and bred in Saddleworth, lived in these villages for more than 20 years and is truly regarded as one of those great Saddleworth characters.

“He not only leaves behind his wife Terrie but a big hole in the community with many people completely devastated at his very sudden death.

“However, some will take joy from fact they were out singing and dancing with him at Donkeystone Brewery’s first Birthday bash on what would tragically be his last night.

“Ged had a boyish enthusiasm for everything,” Carl declared. “He had amazing talents and took pleasure out of life and shared it with everybody around him.

“He sang with great warmth and depth in his voice and a great finger picking style, the problem was getting him to stop.

“By profession Ged's talent was art. His pencil drawings are amazing and he earned his keep as a top rate photo re-toucher.

“He was a close hand magician of magic circle quality, and could have been professional. He amazed everybody with his skill, but the winner was always his delivery his laugh, his smile...”

At home Ged had a spare bedroom full of tanks of exotic creatures which he reared and even provided specimens to Manchester museum, of which he did the graphic back drops for their Vivarium.

He once even reared the UK record for the size of a Goliath spider.

Carl added: “Rest in peace Ged, you will be remembered with every guitar chord played in Saddleworth...”