SKYE'S famous leopard man has died in a care home, aged 80.

Tom Leppard, born Tom Wooldridge, once considered the world's most tattooed man, reportedly passed away on Sunday, June 12.

Mr Wooldridge, who was given his nickname after covering his body with leopard-like tattoos had lived in a small bothy on Skye for more than two decades and would take a kayak to the mainland where he bought supplies and picked up his pension on a weekly basis.

He is said to have spent £5,500 on his extensive body modifications, which cover his skin nearly entirely.

He chose to leave his primitive dwelling to move to a larger house in the village of Broadford, Skye and later moved to sheltered accommodation on the outskirts of the city of Inverness.

At the time, he said: “I have no interest in a TV, or a radio. Nor do I want a telephone."

“My life hasn’t changed much - I never bothered people when I lived in the bothy, and they didn’t bother me, and I’m not really that interested in what else is going on outside.”

Leppard was with the armed forces for just shy of 30 years, and decided in the late 1980s to live alone in the Scottish Highlands and became the world’s most tattooed man and recognised as the most tattooed senior citizen.

Although he lost the Guinness World Record to street performer Lucky Diamond Rich in 2006, Leppard said he had no regrets about the path his life had taken, adding that he was content with life.

Speaking in 2001, he said: "I thought if I get the biggest of something and live in a strange way people might pay me.

"I knew as soon as the needle went in for the first time that it would have to be completed. The bonier areas were sore - the rib, the spine, the skull - but I'm stubborn."

Despite his spots, he said he felt "no affinity with leopards" and called spiritual questions about his tattoos "rubbish".

He added: "In the UK people have been brainwashed into thinking that a tattooed person is just a criminal and that's it. [My tattooes] haven't changed me but they've changed the view people have of me."