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The BBC's Danny Shaw
"It's likely to be a spectacular affair"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Crowds gather for Kray's funeral
Charlie (left) and Reggie Kray at Ronnie's funeral
Reggie Kray will be buried next to his brothers
Large crowds are lining the streets in east London, as mourners prepare to say farewell to gangland killer Reggie Kray.

Six black plumed horses are leading the procession to St Matthews Church for the funeral, which Kray planned in the final days before his death from cancer.

Pavements along Bethnal Green Road have been cordoned off and there is a heavy police presence, as people gather outside the funeral directors where Kray's body was in a chapel of rest.

Actress Barbara Windsor was a lifelong friend
Flowers from Kray's friend, actress Barbara Windsor
The last of three notorious brothers, Kray will be buried in the family plot at Chingford, alongside his twin, Ronnie, and older brother Charlie.

The procession is expected to bring the East End to a temporary standstill, with celebrity friends of the Krays among the mourners.

The cortege is scheduled to stop in Vallance Road, where Kray and his twin brother Ronnie were brought up.

Outside the undertakers, the pavement was bedecked with wreaths - some in the shape of boxing gloves and others in the shape of an "R".

One wreath of roses was from the EastEnders actress, and Kray's friend, Barbara Windsor.

Life imprisonment

Many people have criticised the glamorisation of such notorious gangster killers.

Ronnie and Reggie enjoyed a dark celebrity status in their hey day, brushing shoulders with rich and famous stars including Judy Garland and Diana Dors.
The Krays
The Krays became Britain's best-known gangsters

Actress Barbara Windsor, who now plays a landlady in the television soap EastEnders, was a friend until the end.

The twins were eventually imprisoned after Reggie stabbed Jack "The Hat" McVitie to death in a flat in Stoke Newington and Ronnie, in a feud with a rival gang, shot George Cornell dead in the saloon bar of an East End pub.

They were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1969.

Terminal cancer

Reggie was released from prison in July on compassionate grounds to receive treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital for cancer of the bladder.

His condition, at the age of 66, was terminal and he died at the Town House Hotel in Norwich earlier this month.

His wife Roberta, 41, was at his bedside.

Reggie's funeral is expected to be as big as that of his brother Ronnie five years ago when thousands lined the same eight-mile route.

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See also:

01 Oct 00 | UK
Last of an infamous trio
01 Oct 00 | UK
Reggie Kray dies
26 Aug 00 | UK
Reggie Kray to be freed
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