Essex

Keith Flint funeral: Prodigy fans urged to 'raise roof'

Keith Flint Image copyright PA
Image caption Keith Flint was found dead at his home in Essex on 4 March

Fans of The Prodigy have travelled from abroad to pay tribute to frontman Keith Flint.

Well-wishers from Australia, Germany and the Netherlands were among those arriving in Braintree, Essex, before a funeral procession through the town.

Floral tributes from America were also placed outside St Mary's Church in Bocking, where the musician was laid to rest at about 16:00 GMT.

Flint, 49, was found dead at his home near Dunmow on 4 March.

Live: Keith Flint funeral and procession

Image caption Hundreds of Prodigy fans gathered in Braintree ahead of the funeral
Image caption Crowd control measures have been put in place by police

Essex Police said it was expecting "a large number of well-wishers" to line the streets after Flint's bandmates called on fans to "raise the roof for Keef".

Before the ceremony began, fans of the band began to gather to pay their respects.

Image caption Tributes to Flint popped up across Braintree, ahead of his funeral

Prodigy superfan Araks Azarian, 36, jetted in from Australia to be part of the funeral procession.

The 36-year-old, who arrived in the UK earlier, said she had been flying around the world "for years to see the boys".

"This is going to be my last chance to do it."

'Like losing a mate'

Marie Lelicova, 25, travelled from Prague to remember Flint, whom she said she had "loved since she was a child".

"He is part of my life," she said. "He is the person who showed me the way to live. I wanted to say goodbye and say thank you."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA fan wrote a poem in tribute to The Prodigy's frontman Keith Flint
Image caption Marie Lelicova, 25, travelled to Braintree from Prague to pay her respects

Braintree resident Rachel Moore said she had "grown up" listening to The Prodigy and said the band had "put Braintree on the map".

"They made us proud of where we came from," she said. "Their music underlined our upbringing."

Her sentiments were echoed by staff at Scallywags Day Nursery in the town, whose children had made a touching tribute to Flint that hung in the window.

Image caption Rachel Moore said she felt The Prodigy had "put Braintree on the map"
Image caption A Braintree nursery also paid tribute to the town's famous "Firestarter"

Rob Reilly, manager of The Leather Bottle pub in Pleshey - which Flint used to run - said the musician's Firestarter ale had been put back on tap as a tribute to him.

Image caption Rob Reilly, manager of the Leather Bottle pub in Pleshey, which Flint ran until 2017, said his Firestarter ale was back on tap
Image caption Drinkers at the Leather Bottle raised a glass in memory of Flint ahead of his funeral

Another Braintree local Gary Dring, 35, attended the funeral procession in the boiler suit Flint wore in the 1992 Outer Space video.

Describing him as "a legend", Mr Dring said Flint was "one of my all-time heroes" and he had been "gutted" to hear of his death.

"Growing up listening to his music got me through good and bad times," he said. "It's like losing a mate but that's why we're here today, to give him a good send-off."

Image caption Braintree local Gary Dring, 35, said Flint was "a legend"

Essex Police has urged residents "to be mindful of potential delays" on the roads.

The procession is due to arrive at the church at 15:30 when a service will be held for family and close friends.

Local schools closed from midday to allow pupils and parents to escape the anticipated traffic chaos.

Image caption A Prodigy superfan shows off a tattoo of Keith Flint on his thigh
Image caption Fans left candles, notes and flowers in memory of the Prodigy frontman

Essex Police force 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."

Image caption Fans have been leaving floral tributes to Keith Flint outside the church where he is due to be buried

Flint was born in Redbridge in north-east London and his family moved to Braintree where, in 1990, he co-founded The Prodigy with Liam Howlett and Leeroy Thornhill.

The Prodigy had been due to tour the United States in May and released their latest album No Tourists in November.

Most recently they had been on tour in Australia.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Keith Flint was found dead at his home in Essex

If you are struggling to cope, contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or please click on this link to access support services.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites