Search

East End’s ‘Pretty Boy’ knuckle-boxing hard man Roy Shaw dies at 76

17:35 24 July 2012

Roy

Roy 'Pretty Boy' Shaw back in the old days... Britain's hardest criminal

Archant

Infamous prizefighter Roy Shaw, one-time Britain’s hardest criminal, has died at the age of 76.

The East End kid-turned-armed robber-turned author was best-known for his bouts with street-fighting legend Lenny McLean.

Yet the kid born in poverty in Stepney in 1936 was more infamously known for his underworld bouts, serving 18 years behind bars for armed robbery in 1963—part of his sentence at Broadmoor for the criminally insane where he got electroconvulsive shock therapy.

He always said: “I hate the system—the system could never beat me.”

But he gave up the bad life when he was released in the 1980s and moved out to Essex.

He said a few years ago: “You can’t continue to be a rascal all your life—you have to settle down.”

His autobiography ‘Pretty Boy’ was a cult hit in later years.

Roy, however, couldn’t keep out of the headlines even in retirement. At 72, he was back before a judge fighting his corner—this time in the High Court in a tussle with a convicted woman fraudster who had transferred £643,000 of his property investment to her own bank account. He won the case and got his nest egg back.

Roy said during the two-month hearing that he had been “taken for a right mug”—something out-of-character for a man who always reckoned he could beat the system.

Bloggers have been adding their tributes to the East End legend who died last week.

K Rod blogged: “Roy Shaw was considered at one point the hardest guy in the country. He gave the system the finger and made anybody drop who crossed his path. He became the number 1 guy in the world of bare knuckle boxing—his rivalry against Lenny Mclean 30 years ago is still talked about to this day.”

Latest East London News Stories

16:09
Deputy Tower Hamlets Mayor Rachael Saunders

Claims of “fraud and corruption” in council youth services under disgraced ex-Mayor Lutfur Rahman have emerged in an address to members of Tower Hamlets council in East London by Deputy Mayor Rachael Saunders.

Yesterday, 21:26
Abbie Gillgan (left) and two Women's Heritage protesters who unveiled their billbaord in Cable Street [photo: Chris Field]

Angry women fed-up with the “tacky” Jack the Ripper museum that opened in the East End—contravening its original ‘heritage’ planning permit—today unveiled a protest billboard virtually opposite the black-painted premises in Cable Street.

Yesterday, 15:00
Fish sculptured from plastic dumped in Thames [photos: Todd-White]

An artwork made entirely from non-degradable litter being dumped in the Thames aims to show the public the shock number of fish found with plastic in their gut.

Yesterday, 12:00
One of TfL's organised walks along the Embankment, passing the Millenium footbridge [photo: Eleanor Bentall]

Enthusiasts spent the weekend on their feet tramping through East London and the City on tours to mark May as National Walking Month.

Yesterday, 11:52
Gemma Berezag releases peace dove at 20th anniversary of IRA Canary Wharf bombing

A Bill finally starts its passage through Parliament today to compensate victims of the IRA bombing in Canary Wharf 20 years ago.

It would use some of the £9.5 billion frozen assets of Colonel Gaddafi, the former Libyan dictator who supplied semtex to the IRA’s terrorist campaign including the Docklands bomb that killed two men and injured 51 other people.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
River Lea murder under Canning Town Bridge [Google image] showing killer Saulius Urbanavicius (left) and his vitim Vaidas Sakalauskas [Met Police photos]

A homeless man has been jailed for life for the sleeping-bag murder of a fellow rough sleeper whose body was discovered in the water as the tide ran out in the Bow Creek in east London.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Attack on Pc outside Victoria Park Baptist Church [Google image] and knife used [inset, Met Police photo]

A teenager has been jailed for nine years and four months after stabbing a policeman outside a church in London’s East End so brutally that he left him with life-threatening injuries.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Weebly's Dion McKenzie at the Tech City networking event (Picture: Elyse Marks)

In an ever changing world of retail, getting online is now more important than ever. Whether it’s to sell your products or to promote your brand, without an online presence few companies can make it in today’s day and age.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe