Pelé's coffin arrives at final resting place after emotional journey through São Paulo's streets

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott reports on the final farewell to football legend Pele as thousands of fans lined the streets of his hometown Santos

Pelé's coffin has arrived at its final resting place after a procession carried his body through the streets where he grew up.

A Catholic Mass was celebrated earlier on Tuesday at the Vila Belmiro stadium before Pelé's casket began its journey, atop a fire engine, through the streets of Santos, Sao Paolo.

The procession started at around 1pm (GMT), inching past crowds of adoring fans. Firefighters and soldiers sat around the coffin, which was draped in a Brazilian flag.

People pray outside the home of Pelé's mother during his funeral procession from Vila Belmiro stadium. Credit: AP Photo/Matias Delacroix
People watch the funeral procession pass by the home of Pelé's mother, where members of his family stand on the balcony. Credit: AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

The procession travelled past the house of Pelé's mother, 100-year-old Celeste Arantes, as it made its way towards Santos's 'vertical cemetery' for a private burial service.

Pelé's mother was 17 when she gave birth to Pelé, her first child, in October 1940.

Maria Lucia Nascimento, the sister of the late footballer, was seen on Tuesday signalling a heart to the crowd of people gathered outside her mother's home to pay their respects.

Brazil’s newly inaugurated President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn in for a third term on Sunday after a comeback victory, made the trip to Vila Belmiro shortly before the coffin was removed from the stadium.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gives condolences to relatives of Pele during the late footballer's wake at Vila Belmiro stadium. Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner

Pelé, who scored more than 1,200 career goal, died on Thursday, aged 82, of cancer. He was the only footballer to have won three World Cups.

On Monday, Pelé had been lying in state at the Vila Belmiro stadium, where he had previously made his hometown team, Santos FC, one of Brazil’s best.

Thousands of mourners, including high school students and supreme court justices, filed past his body, paying their respects.

The icon's coffin, draped in the flags of Brazil and the Santos FC football club, was placed on the midfield area of pitch.

The storied 16,000-seat stadium was surrounded by mourning fans, and covered with Pelé-themed decorations inside.

Supporters coming out of the stadium said they’d waited three hours in line, standing under a blazing sun.

Crowds clamour to get a look at the fire engine carrying Pelé

Caio Zalke, 35, an engineer, wore a Brazil shirt as he waited in line. “Pelé is the most important Brazilian of all time. He made soccer important for Brazil and he made Brazil important for the world,” he said.

Santos FC tweeted on Monday: "As he always wanted, our eternal King Pelé says goodbye in Vila Belmiro, his home, with his people."

In the 1960s and 70s, Pelé was perhaps the world’s most famous athlete.

People hold a banner of the late great football legend along the route of his funeral procession. Credit: AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

He met presidents and queens, and in Nigeria a civil war was put on hold to watch him play. Many Brazilians credit him with putting the country on the world stage for the first time.

Rows of shirts with Pelé’s number 10 were placed behind one of the goals, waving in the city’s summer winds.

A section of the stands was filling up with bouquets of flowers placed by mourners and sent by clubs and star players - Neymar and Ronaldo among them - from around the world as loudspeakers played a song named “Eu sou Pelé” (“I am Pelé”) that was recorded by the Brazilian himself.

The crowd was mostly local, although some people came from far away. Many mourners were too young ever to have seen Pelé play.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also attended the stadium, telling ITV News that every country should name a stadium after Pelé.

"We have asked all our associations around the world to hold a minute of silence for him, but we will do more than that," Mr Infantino told ITV News.

"I want every country in the world to name one of its stadiums or football fields after Pelé, everywhere in the world, because it's important that children in 20 years, 50 years, 100 years from now remember who Pelé was."

Another fan and friend who waited in line was Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes.

“It is a very sad moment, but we are now seeing the real meaning of this legendary player to our country,” Mendes told journalists.

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“My office has shirts signed by Pelé, a picture of him as a goalkeeper, also signed by him. DVDs, photos, a big collection of him.”

Pelé had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021. The medical centre where he had been hospitalised said he died of multiple organ failure as a result of the cancer.

Pelé led Brazil to World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and remains one of the team’s all-time leading scorers with 77 goals. Neymar tied Pelé’s record during this year’s World Cup in Qatar.