Glenn Tipton insists he will still play a key role in Judas Priest’s forthcoming Firepower tour after revealing Parkinson’s Disease continues to limit his contribution to the metal giants.

It is a decade since the guitar hero was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s.

And for 10 years Tipton has battled on with Priest enjoying a hugely successful Indian summer.

But with the release of new album Firepower less than four weeks away he explained: “I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band.

“It’s simply that my role has changed. I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again.”

Tipton is still able to play and perform many of Priest’s less challenging songs but due to the nature of Parkinson’s progression he cannot commit to a full touring schedule.

His band mates added: “We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years.

“He has shown his passion and self-belief through the writing, recording and performing sessions with Priest – he is a true metal hero!

“We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the Firepower tour and thank Andy Sneap for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real. As Glenn has said we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road….we love you Glenn!”

Firepower is released on March 9 via Columbia Records.