Crowds flocked to Queensway in Petts Wood today (April 28) to see a procession for 'The Running Man' pass by. 

Hundreds were seen lining the street at around 11am to see the much-loved runner's hearse make its way from Orpington to his funeral service.

Real name James Gilson, the character was famed for jogging topless around Petts Wood through sun, wind, and rain.

A Facebook page dedicated to him broke the news of his death last week, posting: “It saddens me to have to inform you of the recent passing of Our Running Man”.

Tributes have since been pouring in and it was no surprise to see residents out in force this morning to pay their respects.

Carolyn Booth, 40, said: "I grew up in Petts Wood and always used to see him running about.

"I moved away about 10 years ago but came back and he was still around - it was great to see. I'll really miss him.

"He was such a character, he used to run in any weather - even on Christmas Day I'd see him".

While Sarah Cain, 40, lives on Crofton Lane where Mr Gilson was often seen in full swing.

She told News Shopper: "He used to run just past my house. I've got young kids so often at home and I would say, 'look there's The Running Man!'

"It's sad he's gone. My dad used to see him - he was around for a long time". 

News Shopper:

Carolyn Booth, left, with friend Sarah Cain, were out to honour Petts Woods' Running Man.

Mr Gilson was thought to be 87 years-old. See this week's paper for more tributes.