Goodbye, Keef: Keith Flint’s estranged wife and Prodigy bandmate Liam Howlett lead mourners at his star-studded funeral as hundreds of fans from around the globe dance outside the church
- Hundreds of fans line the streets to pay tribute to Prodigy frontman Keith Flint who died aged 49
- Aerials by System of a Down is processional music in private service at St Mary’s Church in Bocking
- Days Like This by Van Morrison and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here also played after 1.5-mile procession
- Bandmates ask people to ‘raise the roof’ for ‘Keef’ after his death on March 4 shocked music industry
DJ Mayuma Kai was overcome with emotional today at the funeral of her late estranged husband Keith Flint as hundreds of fans descended on the streets of an Essex town for the Prodigy frontman’s funeral.
The mourners packed the winding roads of Braintree to pay their respects to the charismatic frontman who died on March 4, with local schools closing for a ‘raise the roof’ celebration of the 49-year old’s life from 3pm.
The 1.5-mile procession finished at St Mary’s Church in Bocking where the service took place in private, with the order of service revealing metal group System of a Down’s Aerials was the processional music.
Days Like This by Van Morrison, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and That’s Entertainment by The Jam also being played. Speakers relayed the service to the fans stood outside in the town where the Prodigy was formed.
As the black coffin was carried into the church, the classic Prodigy hit ‘Outer Space’ blared out, with grieving fans shouting ‘live forever’, ‘we’re with you’ and ‘we love you’ as motorbike engines revved.
Bandmate Liam Howlett carried a heavy leather belt over his shoulder as he arrived with his wife Natalie Appleton, while Prodigy vocalist Keith Palmer, better known by his stage name Maxim, was also at the service today.
Mayumi Kai (left), the estranged wife of Keith Flint, arrives for his funeral in Essex where fans lined the street in tribute. Nicole Appleton (right), the sister-in-law of Flint’s bandmate Liam Howlett, is also pictured arriving
Bandmate Liam Howlett carried a heavy leather belt over his shoulder as he arrived with his wife Natalie Appleton today
Keith Palmer, better known by his stage name Maxim, who was a Prodigy vocalist, helps carry the coffin in today
Hundreds of fans gather today, with Prodigy tracks blasted through a sound system as they sing along to ‘Outer Space’
Rachel Howlett (left) and Natalie Appleton (right) outside St Mary’s Church ahead of the funeral this afternoon
Gene Gallagher, the son of Liam Gallagher, arrives for the funeral at St Mary’s Church in Bocking today
Keith Palmer, better known by his stage name Maxim, who was a Prodigy vocalist, arrives for the funeral today
Game of Thrones star Paul Kaye (left), who plays Thoros of Myr in the HBO series, arrives for the funeral this afternoon
Liam Howlett (right) and Natalie Appleton (left) during the funeral and procession to honour the memory of Flint today
Clive Flint, the father of Flint, arrives for his son’s funeral at the church in Bocking this afternoon
The cheers of the crowd were followed by sobs as the procession led by his dog entered the churchyard. A hearse featured orange flowers spelling out ‘KEEF’ with a floral acid house smiley face was also in the car.
The recessional music was A Message To You Rudy and a eulogy by Martin Roach was read by Game of Thrones star Paul Kaye. Donation’s in Flint’s memory were made to Battersea Dogs Home, Mind and Cancer Research UK.
A crowd had already formed by lunchtime outside the historic building, with The Retreat pub opening its doors to mourners. Men wearing Hawaiian shirts mixed with ravers wearing boiler suits in the sunny street.
The band’s hits filled the air with flags stretching up into the sky. Fans sat on the green outside the 15th century church with well-wishers travelling from as far afield as Prague and Holland.
Celebrities across the music and entertainment industry paid tribute to Flint after news broke of his death aged just 49
As the black coffin was carried into the church in Essex, the classic Prodigy hit ‘Outer Space’ blared out
Fans follow the funeral procession of Prodigy singer Flint as it passes through Braintree today
Mourners gather this afternoon for the funeral of Prodigy frontman Keith Flint at St Mary’s Church in Bocking, Essex
Fans at the funeral of Flint in Bocking celebrate his life by dancing and singing outside the church in Bocking today
Marie Lelicova, 25, came from the Czech Republic to the service and was clad in a flag. The photography student said: ‘I never met Keith but by being here at least I get the chance to tell him I love him.
‘It is funny because when I first saw the video for Breath and I was scared of Keith and my mother said don’t be worried he is just a nice clown. As I grew older I just started listening to them and loved their music.’
Araks Nazarian, 36, flew out from Sydney for the service. The dedicated fan and chef said: ‘He was just one of the best people I knew, he would always appreciate people like me who would travel. ‘
‘I saw him in Australia a month ago, he was fantastic, he was fine, he was happy. He saw me and said I hadn’t changed and I must be forever youthful and then to do this.’
The funeral procession of Prodigy singer Flint passes through Braintree today as people watch from the roadside
Flowers at the funeral of Flint at St Mary’s Church in Bocking, today as a celebration of his life is held
People watch from behind a rope as the funeral of Flint gets underway in Bocking this afternoon
Pictured: Two fans share a tender moment as the funeral for Keith Flint gets underway in Essex to celebrate the life of the Prodigy frontman
An aerial view of crowds gathering outside St Mary’s Church in Bocking today for the funeral of Prodigy frontman Flint
Well-wishers hug in the street as the funeral for the Prodigy frontman gets underway (right)
Speakers will relay the service to the fans stood outside in the streets of the town where the Prodigy was formed
For others the service was a much more personal affair. Louisa Di Marco, 44, used to dance with Flint before the Prodigy struck it big. She said: ‘I used to dance with them professionally in the 1990s.
‘I knew him and I’m going to miss him, he was just one of the nicest I have ever met, he was lovely. I will miss having a coffee with him. When I dropped out of the scene to have a baby he was the only one to keep in touch.’
Dennis Kuhne, 40, who flew in from Germany, said he wanted to ‘say goodbye to Keith’. ‘I listened to them over 20 years,’ he said. ‘My first concert I think was in 1995 for the Jilted Generation tour.
‘Since that time I follow the guys on almost every tour, festivals and everywhere they played in Germany. It’s a pleasure to be here.’
Denny Lennon and Jessica Mason, both from the US, jumped on a plane to attend funeral because the band and icon meant an ‘awful lot’ to them and they needed to get closure.
Ms Lennon, 32, from New York, who has been a fan for 25 years, said: ‘The band shaped me for who I am and their music is a part of me so I had to come and get closure for somebody who meant an awful lot to me.
‘Basically, Keith and the Prodigy are the reason I danced my entire life and they sort of saved me when my mind would wander and those teenage years where you don’t know who or where you are and you’re like ‘yes’ and Prodigy became a part of me.
‘They have definitely influenced me my entire life clearly I was into them as a kid and I am now at 32-years-old.’
The order of service revealed that metal group System of a Down’s Aerials was the processional music
Local schools closed today for a ‘raise the roof’ celebration of the 49-year-old’s life from 3pm in Essex
A fan pays tribute to Flint’s Firestarter costume as he parties to remember the singer in Essex today
Fans gather for the funeral of Flint from The Prodigy in Essex today as a celebration of his life
The body of Kieth Flint – who found fame as a singer in the Prodigy after starting out as a dancer for their raves – is carried by hearse into St Mary’s Church in Bocking Essex, where fans lined the streets to pay tribute to the front man before the ceremony this afternoon
Prodigy tracks are blasted through a sound system as a a singalong to ‘Outer Space’ bursts out in Essex today
Music fans travelled from around the world to line the streets of Essex to mark the funeral of Flint today
Mourners watch on and arrive for the funeral of Flint which takes place at St Mary’s Church in Booking today
A crowd had already formed by lunchtime outside the church, with The Retreat pub opening its doors to mourners
Local schools closed for a ‘raise the roof’ celebration of the 49-year old’s music star’s life from 3pm today in Essex
‘I just received my doc and I was going to several shows in my US and planning to meet with the guys this means too much to me to show my respects.
Ms Mason, her friend, said: ‘I would have known nothing of the Prodigy if it wasn’t for Denny. We met in college and I only knew about old school rock and it was her role to let me know about all rock and Prodigy was one of the first bands that she introduced me to.’
The 33-year-old said: ‘I never got a chance to see them in a show and we were going to go to one in May and Denny had bought the tickets and I was finally going to get to see them. Not only just see it but feel it live and we didn’t get that chance to see that but I took this trip with her to get the closure.’
Ms Lennon then said: ‘We need to celebrate his life and Keith would want us to dance and celebrate and to bring that always. I plan to dance through the tears today.’
The American then said her son is just 18 months-old and has already been introduced to The Prodigy. She added: ‘I will carry on, someone said that Keith lit the fire and we’ll keep it burning.’
Carpenter Lewis Knowles, 31, travelled up from Calne in Wiltshire and said he recognised many faces from the front row of shows around the world.
‘They were a big part of growing up, listening to The Prodigy, enjoying it, travelling all round Europe and the world watching them, so it felt right to come here and just try to enjoy the day and see people you bump into at the gigs,’ he said.
Left: A woman watches as the coffin carrying Flint’s body arrives for his funeral in Essex as, right, a fan pays tribute to the singer with a similar costume to the one worn in the iconic Firestarter video, which earned record complaints on the BBC
Crowds of people gather behind barriers ahead of Flint’s funeral at St Mary’s Church in Bocking today
Speaking ahead of the service, Reverend Rod Reid said St Mary’s Church had been working closely with Flint’s family
The 1.5-mile procession will finish at St Mary’s Church in Bocking where the service will take place in private
The mourners arrived on the winding roads of Braintree to pay their respects to the Prodigy frontman who died this month
Fans sat on the green outside the 15th century church with well-wishers travelling from as far afield as Prague and Holland
Hundreds of fans descended on the streets of the Essex town today for the funeral of the Prodigy frontman
The band’s hits filled the air with flags stretching up into the sky ahead of the funeral service
Flowers from thousands of miles away sat outside the church. A bouquet from the US read: ‘Keef… You and I have never met but the world will forever miss you. I am so sorry for whatever pain you may have experienced in life.
‘I wish you realised and understood ‘more’ how much you meant to all us fans and the world.’
Essex Police warned of delays for drivers. A spokesman said: ‘The roads will not be closed throughout the course of the procession – so, as such, we would ask drivers to avoid the area and find alternate routes where possible.
‘The church service at St Mary’s will be for family and close friends of Mr Flint. Fans and members of the public are asked to respect the privacy of Mr Flint’s loved ones during this difficult time.’
Speaking ahead of the service, Reverend Rod Reid said St Mary’s Church had been working closely with the family ‘to get everything right for the day.’
He said: ‘We are aware that many others will want to feel part of the day too, so the church service will be relayed across the church ground. We all want it to be a fitting tribute and a chance to give thanks for Keith.
An undertaker holds bouquets ahead of the funeral and procession to honour Flint in Essex today
Flowers from thousands of miles away sat outside the church in Bocking today, with one bouquet sent from the US
Essex Police said the church service at St Mary’s in Bocking would be for family and close friends of Flint only
Essex Police said the roads would not be closed throughout the course of the procession, and asked drivers to avoid the area
Flowers are brought to the church today ahead of the funeral of Prodigy vocalist Flint in Bocking, Essex
Reverend Rod Reid said he wanted the funeral today ‘to be a fitting tribute and a chance to give thanks for Keith’
‘This has always been part of what the family and band wanted from the start – a recognition of the outpouring of love and support that has come from the fans.’
The service follows a campaign to commemorate Flint with a statue in Braintree. Thousands signed a petition backing the bid to ensure he can look ‘over Braintree and carry on inspiring the people to follow their dreams’.
Council chiefs confirmed they will ‘consider suitable ways’ to remember the singer. Flint was found dead in his nearby £1.5million mansion in North End on March 4 with an inquest hearing he was hound hanging.
The star had recently returned from a tour in Australia and locals said they had seen him jogging in the lead up to his death. Tragically Flint even achieved a personal best for a 5k in the days before his body was found.
In the wake of his death it emerged Flint had split with his wife and his home had gone on the market.
Floral tributes have poured in from across the world, with fans travelling from as far as Texas to pay their respects
A tweet from the band’s official Twitter page said: ‘Fans are invited to line the procession route, starting at 3pm in Braintree’
Scores of well-wishers will line the procession route leading to the church in Bocking, Essex
People have made their way to the procession route clutching cards, photographs and flowers
Scores of floral tributes have been left outside of St Mary’s Church in Bocking ahead of the star’s funeral
Locals in Essex have paid tribute to The Prodigy frontman – crafting ‘Firestarter’ memorials – the title of one of his songs – in his memory
The star’s bandmates have urged fans to line the procession route leading to St Mary’s church in Bocking, Essex (pictured) where friends and family are attending a private funeral service
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