26/11/2014 13:26 GMT | Updated 26/11/2014 14:59 GMT

'Mad' Frankie Fraser Dead: Infamous East End Gangster Dies

Photoshot via Getty Images
'mad' Frankie Fraser, Former East End Gangster, At the launch of his one-man show, at the Brick Lane Music Hall in East London. (Photo by Photoshot/Getty Images)

Gangster "Mad" Frankie Fraser has died in hospital, a former associate has said. The enforcer, who spent 42 years in prison, died following an operation on his leg. He is believed to have been 90.

South London gangland boss Eddie Richardson, who described Fraser as an "old acquaintance", said: "He's had a long life and I don't think he's done too bad. He had Alzheimer's for about three years, so I don't think he knew what day it was."

It is believed the operation Fraser underwent at King's College Hospital in south London was linked to an injury he sustained during the brutal riots inside Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight in 1969.

Fraser was said to be one of the ringleaders of the uprising, which left him with injuries that he said took months to heal. His family took the decision to withdraw life support this morning after Fraser was placed into a medically-induced coma at the weekend, according to the Mirror.

He died with his 66-year-old son Dave at his bedside, the newspaper reports. Fraser's ghost writer James Morton, writing in The Guardian, said that over his lifetime the gangster had turned from "the scourge of prison governors and warders up and down Britain" to a minor celebrity.

"People shook his hand in the street, others kissed him or asked for his autograph and taxi drivers honked their horns," Mr Morton wrote.