Thousands gather as Jose Antonio Reyes’ coffin is carried through the streets of his hometown

THE coffin of football star Jose Antonio Reyes was carried through the streets of Utrera near Seville this morning ahead of his funeral mass.

The Arsenal icon died in a car crash near his hometown on Saturday at the age of 35 as he was heading home to his wife and kids.

This morning, thousands lined the streets of the city as his casket was carried by family and friends draped in a flag bearing the badge of his home club.

His funeral is being held at Santa Maria Church after his coffin was moved from the town hall after an overnight wake.

On Sunday well-wishers paid tribute to Reyes during his wake at Sevilla’s Ramos Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where he spent eight seasons in two stints during his career.

Real Madrid skipper Ramos and former Spain star Raul both attended the touching ceremony at the weekend.

Los Blancos president Florentino Perez, Sevilla captain Jesus Navas and former Brazil star Luisao also paid homage to the late footballer.

While Sevilla director of football Monchi, visibly overcome with emotions, was seen hiding his face in his hands and sobbing.

Some saddened fans turned up to the wake to say their last goodbyes wearing Reyes’ Arsenal No9 shirt.

The ex-Gunner star was part of Arsenal’s Invincibles side that went through the 2003-04 season unbeaten and won the Premier League.

Reyes was killed when his Mercedes Brabus S550V went off the A-376 motorway near the town of Alcala de Guadaira close to Seville on Saturday.

Local paper Diario de Sevilla reported the car became a ball of fire and said it is thought the late footballer may have been driving at around 147mph before the vehicle came off the road.

It is understood Reyes was on his way home to his family after training, having not been picked for the match against Cadiz.

His 23-year-old cousin Jonathan Reyes also died in the accident.