END OF AN ERA: East End and Essex gangland legend Billy Blundell has died
ESSEX gangster Billy Blundell (pictured above) has died, aged 77, his family have announced.
Son, Billy Blundell Junior, announced on Facebook the self-confessed criminal's passing on Thursday.
He wrote: "Sadly Facebook is the best way to notify friends that today my Dad – the legend that is Billy Blundell has passed away.”
TOP DRAWER VILLAIN: Eddie Blundell
With brother Eddie Blundell, 79, the two built up an ice cream van empire from the East End in the 1960s.
They serving tourist traps in London and saw off any other sellers with violence or threats.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Billy Blundell Junior posted the message (above) on Facebook on Thursday (Facebook)
Billy once shot three members of a rival gang in broad daylight on Ilford High Street in east London.
He was charged with attempted murder, but a jury cleared him, saying he acted in self defence.
The brothers moved into other activities including property rental, security and car clamping more recently.
Hundreds of people have visited the post and paid their personal tributes to the old school gangster.
Mark Cosgrave wrote: "Sorry for your loss. A true old school man, well respected and will be missed. RIP."
Debbie Jewell said: "Sorry for your loss. Thinking of all the family. Remember both my son and daughter spending time with Billy, going on holiday with him years ago. RIP Billy a true legend xx."
Terry Layton added: "Big part of my family’s life when we were in Essex ..the man was a legend..RIP Billy x."