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

Yesterday, 11:54
Jonathan Goldstein, Cain Hoy’s chief executive; Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy; and Heather Knight, the senior archaeologist leading the dig on behalf of MOLA at the launch of The Stage dig (Picture: Adrian Pope)

Archaeologists have begun excavating one of Shakespeare’s lesser known playhouses – the Curtain Theatre where Henry V was first performed.

Yesterday, 11:00
Susan Hiller in conversation at the Hayward Gallery in 2006 [photo by Jack Goffe]

An old wishing well has made a wish come true for east London’s Bow Arts’ Nunnery Gallery—to get on a national a shortlist of venues to stage an event with world-renowned artist Susan Hiller.

Thu, 17:54
Abdi's police mugshot

A serial rapist who spent six months preying on East End women as old as 75 has been locked up for life.

Thu, 10:25
Neighbours and volunteers planting trees to make St George's housing estate greener

Trees are being used to help turn urban neighbourhoods in a crowded East End of London more green for families.

Thu, 09:37
Lonely but lucky duckling rescued by builders on a construction site [photo: Bouygues UK]

Big hearted builders on a new hotel construction site rushed to the rescue after a little duckling that got separated from the rest of its family while on a stroll on a busy street in east London.

Wed, 10:16
Moment a door is busted open as police raid a flat on the Isle of Dogs [photos: Isabel Infantes]

This is the moment police bust into an apartment at dawn this-morning in a three-day operation aimed at smashing a violent drugs network in London’s East End.

Tue, 16:08
Gang leader Quaojun Lou (inset) and laundered cash police seized in his Isle of Dogs flat

A gang involved in a large-scale money-laundering where they siphoned millions of pounds into Chinese bank accounts for crime networks have been given jail sentences.

The ringleader had £350,000 stashed away at his luxury tower home on the Isle of Dogs when police raided.

Tue, 10:01
Royal London BMA rep Dr Emily Mills (left) supported by East End GPs Dr Cambis Boomla from Poplar's Chrisp Street surgery and Dr Anna Livingstone from the Limehouse practice

Junior doctors have begun their two-day strike at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel along with NHS doctors throughout the country.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Author Anne Fine (inset) promoting Silentnight writing competition

Children’s author Anne Fine is inviting youngsters to put pen to paper for a national Sleepy Stories writing competition.

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!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! 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