YORK punk rocker Stevie Ze Suicide has died suddenly, aged 68.

Stevie, aka Stephen Roberts, of The Groves, who was the UK Subs' drummer at the height of punk rock in the late 1970s, took his own life, said his wife Jude.

"I'm devastated," she said. "He was a gentle and kind man, who was always saying: "Love you. Are you all right?"

She said Stevie had suffered from bouts of depression all his life.

Stevie's manager for the past decade, Mike Harris, said he had had 'talent as a drummer and a songwriter and he was always driven to aspire for more,' but was sometimes held back by occasional bouts of depression.

He said he had first met Stevie when he was playing bass with Eric Faulkner's Bay City Rollers, and the band was rehearsing in his Hastings studio.

"What I saw then was a very lively character, full of life and creating a buzz around himself," he said.

"Years later we worked together on an Internet radio show and, although not meeting up again due to the distance between us, he began to talk in more depth about his past, and continuing, problems with depression and alcohol - and also how he really wanted to make a name for himself."

READ MORE: 'RIP Stevie, punk love' - moving tributes and photos to Stevie Ze Suicide

He said that after taking Stevie on under TaM Management, he was introduced to Trevor Bolder - David Bowie's former bass guitarist - and together they recorded a number of songs, some  in Trevor's own studio.

"I suggested that he started writing about his problems to help him come to terms with the issues," he said.

"This writing eventually became three books about his life, his problems, anecdotes accrued through meeting many international artists while working with MGMM music video company, and scattered throughout, many of his ascerbic poems and well-crafted drawings."

He said Stevie had styled his name from David Bowie's song Rock and Roll Suicide, not from any desire for it to end in the ironic way it had, adding: "Rock on StevieZe - King of Noize."

Stevie was last featured in The Press in the summer, when he told how he liked to shock people with his latest hairdo - half startling pink and half platinum blond, with a long fringe dangling over his face.

He said that when he was recently at York Hospital - getting his foot examined for possible damage from half a century of stepping vigorously on drum pedals -a group of nurses came up and asked for selfies.

He quipped: "As David Bowie said to me, 'the future belongs to those who can hear it coming,' and yes, I can just see where I'm going."

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* You can leave your tribute to Stevie in our online book of condolence...