A mentally-ill football coach who died after he was restrained by police in Catford was "a father figure and a role model".

Kevin Clarke, 35, died in police custody at Lewisham Hospital shortly after 4pm on March 9 following an incident earlier that afternoon in Polsted Road outside St Dunstan's College.

Mr Clarke was restrained as he appeared to be having a mental health crisis before ambulances arrived and his condition is reported to have deteriorated as paramedics arrived on the scene.

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), with statements taken from nine police officers.

Jade Cunningham, from the IOPC, told an inquest hearing at Southwark Coroner's Court on Wednesday that criminal proceedings remain a "possibility", but no decision has been reached.

"It's always a possibility in our independent investigations," she said.

Coroner Andrew Harris suspended the inquest pending the investigation and passed on his condolences to Mr Clarke's family, including his mother, who were in court for the hearing.

The coroner told the family that results of toxicology tests may take up to five months to come back.

He also acknowledged it was a death in which the police "may be criticised".

In a statement after the hearing, Mr Clarke's family, who are being supported by the charity Inquest, said: "On Friday 9 March 2018, our family was informed that our beloved son, brother and cousin, Kevin Andre Clarke, was dead.

"Kevin was well-known and loved in our community and we will truly miss him.

"He was a father figure and a role model to so many, even when he was going through his difficult times.

"He was also a gifted footballer, who would coach young people and dreamt about pursuing this; unfortunately his dream was cut short.

"We do not know exactly what happened or the circumstances which led to Kevin's untimely death.

"We are left with so many questions and hope that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) will swiftly complete their investigations into Kevin's death and that those officers involved will offer their full co-operation.

"Finally, we ask that you keep us in your prayers. We do appreciate all the love and support we have been shown during this difficult time."

Detective Chief Superintendent Tara McGovern, of Lewisham police, said: "Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased at this extremely difficult time.

"Where a person dies following contact with the police, it is right and proper that police refer the incident to an independent body to review the circumstances surrounding the death, which happened immediately in relation to this incident."