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Paddy Doherty weeps next to nephew Michael Connors' coffin at lavish funeral with 16 Rolls-Royce

Culled from Daily Mail

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings star Paddy Doherty shed a tear today after the coffin of his nephew arrived for his funeral following the arrival of his friends and relatives in a huge fleet of 16 white Rolls-Royce Phantom cars, Daily Mail reported.

Mikey Connors's funeral was held at St Michael's Church in Ashtead, Surrey, ahead of a ceremony at nearby Epsom Cemetery today, nearly a month after he died in an accident in Thamesmead, South East London.

A life-sized jockey, horse and cart made out of flowers were the centrepiece to the funeral today following Mr Connors's death aged 32 after hitting a car while driving a horse and cart on the A2016 Eastern Way on July 28.

Mr Doherty was one of ten pall-bearers who carried the coffin of his nephew after the service. The coffin was held on the shoulders of ten smartly dressed men as a young girl and boy led the procession.

They held a 'WBC' boxing belt and a framed photo of Mr Connors kissing a small child. Family members banged on the side of the baby-blue coffin and shouted after 'Mikey' and 'God bless ya'.

A woman followed the coffin with a speaker, which played 'A Place in the Sun' by Stevie Wonder, followed by 'Shotgun' by George Ezra. Some of the crowd sang along, while other pumped the air with their hands.

The coffin was placed inside a white Mercedes hearse as mourners tearfully bid Mr Connors farewell. Mr Doherty leant inside the car and placed his hand on the coffin. He was clearly upset as he steadied himself against the car.

Later, Mr Connors was taken for one last race as his coffin in the back of a hearse joined a horse and cart race outside Epsom racecourse.

The funeral cortege of 16 Rolls Royce Phantoms and a white Mercedes hearse halted as an aircraft flew overhead towing the banner that read 'Mikey Connors legend RIP.'

Golfers on nearby grounds looked on perplexed as the racers warmed up tearing along the road closed by the police at break-neck speed.

The hearse then joined the eight horse-carts as they raced at high speed along the road dotted by police officers.

Mr Doherty stood in the road shouting 'oi, oi' to keep the parade together as the horse-carts were flanked by the white Mercedes.

Inside the car immediate family took turns in hanging out the window to proudly display flags in homage to Mr Connors. The riders gave several runs across the road adjacent to the race course, as the light aircraft circled overhead.

After the final run the coffin was then transferred into a white hearse pulled by eight all-white horses with baby-blue banners which read and plumes.

The banners read 'Mikey Connors, our legend, one in a billion, king of the road'. The riders of the hearse dressed in black jackets, top hats and white breeches then rode off towards the cemetery.

Paddy Doherty, pictured, mourns as the coffin of his nephew Mikey Connors is carried from St Michaels Church in Ashstead (Image: London News Pictures Ltd)

It was joined by around 80 family members on foot, which included seven young children in baby-blue suits and dresses.

Behind the procession was a dozen luxury cars, including Bentleys and Mercedes motors. The last family members were picked up by white Rolls Royce Phantoms and left for the burial.

Mr Connors was laid to rest to the sounds of bagpipes. As the coffin was brought into Epsom Cemetery and carried up a hill to his grave followed by a caravan of family and friends, the Celtic instruments wailed.

More than 200 people stood as the coffin passed by with many banging the coffin and shouting 'Mikey'.

Children held onto blue star-shaped balloons and a pair of boxing gloves was held high in the air.

A relative of Mr Connors said: 'He was a lovely man, with a kind heart and good values. People forget among all of this that somebody has died - there is a mother with a boy lost.'

After the heartfelt send-off, Mr Connor's coffin was lowered into the ground as his family wept and comforted each other.

Mr Connors's horse, Big T, suffered extensive injuries in the accident and was put down by a vet. His brother Simey rushed to the scene of the accident after his brother failed to reach the finishing line following the race.

Michael Connors

Following Mr Connors's death, a man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving. A police spokesman said: 'The driver of the car, a 30-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving.

'Officers from the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command are leading the investigation. We are appealing for witnesses to come forward; in particular, motorists who may have dashcam footage.'

Paddy Doherty is an Irish former bare-knuckle boxer who rose to fame in the Channel 4 documentary series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and later became known for winning Celebrity Big Brother series eight in 2011

Scroll down and watch Michael Connors' last race

My view: It's sad, such a young man, his family gave him a lavish funeral.

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