Leonid Stadnyk
Leonid Stadnyk, believed to be the world's tallest man, stood at 8ft 4 inches. Getty

Leonid Stadnyk, who previously held the title of world's tallest man, has died.

The peasant farmer from the Ukrainian village of Podoliantsy passed away on 24 August, after suffering a brain haemorrhage linked to health problems as a result of his height. He was 44.

At the age of 14, a benign tumour in his brain caused a gland to continually secrete growth hormones – meaning he grew at an alarmingly fast rate.

Before his death, Stadnyk measured a staggering 8ft 4inches (2.6 metres). The average height of a British male is 5ft 10 inches.

But despite his incredible height, Stadnyk refused to be measured for the Guinness World Records, leaving China's Bao Xishun, who stands at 7ft 8 inches (2.36 metres) to claim the title.

During his last ever interview in 2007, Stadnyk shunned the media attention and claimed that he refused to marry as he believed his height was a curse.

"To me, my height is a curse, a punishment from God, not something to celebrate. What sin I have committed, I do not know. All my life I have dreamed of being just like everyone else. I don't want or need the fame that this would bring so I have no desire to be in this Guinness book," he said at the time.

"I never got married because I don't want to inflict my problems on a wife. I think it would not be fair on her."

As a result of his condition, called Gigantism, his palms measured more that a metre in diameter.