Former British boxing champion Gary Mason was killed while cycling his bike yesterday morning.

Mason, who lived in Wallington, died after a collision with a white van in Sandy Lane South, near the junction with Woodcote Road, Wallington at about 6.15am.

The boxer was also a much-respected regular at All Saints Church, in Carshalton.

Father John Thewlis said: "It is truly wretched news. He was such a deep, kind and outgoing man.

"He was an incredibly loyal member of the congregation and used to do readings.

"What struck me about him most was his gentleness, I would never have known he was an international boxer. We shall all miss him terribly."

And Christine J Lindsay, who met Gary at the church, paid tribute to a "very, very special" man.

"He was a source of inspiration and gave me a reason to push the boundaries of the church into the locality inviting in Christians and non-believers alike," she said.

"He loved Church so much.

"I shall miss Gary greatly as he was a very good and true friend. A gentle man whose hug was overwhelming but very, very special."

Click here to download Mrs Lindsay's tribute in full

Police and ambulance crews attended, but Mason was pronounced dead at the scene at 7.11am.

The bike being inspected by officers at the scene yesterday did not appear to have any lights on it.

Residents have reported the junction was notorious for accidents.

A 43-year-old driver of the white Vauxhall van was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.

He was questioned by police but was bailed pending further enquiries.

Officers from the Road Death Investigation Unit at Hampton Traffic Garage are investigating.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Road Death Investigation Unit based at Hampton Traffic Garage on 020 8941 9011.

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