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 News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Islington primary pupils working on some programming at the event

Schoolchildren set to be future Tech City pioneers came together to celebrate their achievements in computing last week, joined by television personality Maggie Philbin.

Friday, January 23, 2015
Two lanes are blocked southbound on the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach.

Motorists heading southbound towards the Blackwall Tunnel face heavy delays this morning following a crash involving a lorry and a car.

Thursday, January 22, 2015
DLR workers are set to strike for 48 hours next week

Commuters across Tower Hamlets are set to face further misery if a 48 hour DLR strike goes ahead next week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
You could win £100 worth of Ocado vouchers (picture: Katie Collins/PA)

We’ve teamed up with online supermarket Ocado to bring you the chance to win £100 worth of shopping vouchers.

Most read news

It’s easy to lose sight of how beautiful London is when you’re crammed into a commuter train. Let these flying Instagram users take you on a bird’s eye tour of London.

People have pretty good memories when it comes to the outstanding performance of a tub of lard on HIGNFY.

The UN ambassador unveiled IMPACT10X10X10, a new initiative to end gender inequality as part of the HeForShe campaign.

David Cameron and Tony Blair are among those paying tribute.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder