PINK Floyd founding member Richard Wright has died of cancer aged 65.

The keyboard player, who lived in Hatch End, wrote the piano-led tracks The Great Gig in the Sky and Us And Them for the 1973 prog-rock classic Dark Side of the Moon.

The album is one of the all-time best sellers and stayed in the US top 200 for 15 years.

As a keyboard player and songwriter, Wright, known as Rick, helped to create the distinct psychedelic sounds which catapulted Pink Floyd to iconic status as one of the greatest groups in the world.

A spokesman for the band wrote on the band's official website: "The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness that Richard died after a short struggle with cancer.

"The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Wright, who taught himself to play piano, met bassist Roger Waters and drummer Nick Mason as architecture students in London during the 1960s.

The group, along with art student, guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett formed Pink Floyd and released their first album The Piper At The Gates of Dawn in 1967. Guitarist David Gilmour joined the band in 1968.

The keyboard player contributed to Gilmour's most recent solo album, released in 2006.

In a statement the guitarist said of his friend: "He was such a lovely, gentle, genuine man and will be missed terribly by so many who loved him.

"And that's a lot of people. Did he not get the loudest, longest applause at the end of every show in 2006?"

Wright released two solo albums and was married three times. He leaves three children.