Roads and pubs were closed in Morden as crowds of spectators gathered to watch the funeral of well-known East End gangster Joey Pyle.

Celebrities, including gay-icon Elton John and 60s starlet Lulu, were rumoured to be attending the funeral at St Theresa's Church, Lower Morden Lane, today.

American soul singer Jocelyn Brown, who worked on the 1984 hit Somebody Else's Guy, sang at the graveside Police directed traffic around St Theresa's Church, Lower Morden Lane, as stretch limousines and motorcycle groups arrived to pay tribute to Mr Pyle, a known friend of notorious underworld villains the Kray twins.

Residents living near the church lined the street to watch the funeral procession go by and pubs in the area closed their doors in the afternoon for fear of 'security problems'.

One North Cheam publican said he had closed the doors to his pub after the brewery which owns the business warned him that there could be trouble.

Following the funeral mourners travelled to Sutton and Merton Cemetery in Lower Morden Lane.

Mitch Pyle, Joey's son, said: "What can I say about the man? He was a legend. He was a respectable man and was loved by everyone. He will be very sadly missed."

Former gangster turned celebrity charity worker, David Courtney said: "You wouldn't be able to fit in a book what I'd like to say about him. He was a people's person. He took people under his wing and connected people up - 99 per cent of the people at the Krays funeral never even knew them but everyone here knew Joey."

Mr Pyle, who wrote an expose of the criminal underworld title Notorious: The Changing Face of Organised crime, had also worked as an unlicensed boxing promoter.

Recently newspaper reports had suggested Mr Pyle would be interviewed by police concerning the murder of 36-year-old Sean Jenkins in Carshalton last December, although police refused to confirm the rumours.

Mr Jenkins, a window cleaner from Southfields, was shot dead after a night out at Caesar's nightclub in Streatham where he watched a series of unlicensed boxing bouts.

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