Search

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

17:35 24 July 2012

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

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

09:38

Protesters picketed en mass last night’s budget meeting at Tower Hamlets Council as a £75 million raft of public service cuts was voted through.

London’s biggest beer garden is set to come to Mile End Park this summer as part of a German beer festival.

Yesterday, 18:00

The shocked family of retired Scotland Yard officer Brenda Khan who plunged 40ft to her death from Holborn Viaduct are calling for an inquiry into why she was able to walk out of her care home 30 minutes before, without being checked.

Yesterday, 14:47

A serving police officer in London has admitted in court to sexual offences with a child under 13.

Yesterday, 11:24

A petition calling on the government to stop the planned rise in Business Rate has been set up by traders and two local authorities in east London.

Tue, 17:36

Security at London’s second tallest tower seems to have taken a ‘dive’ after two young men managed to get into One Canada Square in Canary Wharf and climbed up to the very top.

Tue, 16:57

Two police officers “have a case to answer” for gross misconduct on duty over a delayed response to a 999 call when a woman was found hanged in London’s East End.

Tue, 08:52

Limehouse Link Tunnel has reopened after a large cement spillage led to an earlier closure.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now