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

15:12
Toddler pirates who invaded Vicky Park [photo: Mat Webb]

A band of young pirates broke free from their nursery and invaded Victoria Park in a bounty-seeking adventure for East London’s Barnardo’s charity.

14:17
Dark Arts founder Peter Kennedy accompanies himself on accordion

An alternative ‘Dark Arts’ circus pitches its tent in “a cemetery near you” in London’s East End on Saturday.

Yesterday, 23:52
Ripper Museum opening soon in Cable Street

The neighbours thought they were getting a museum in their street celebrating the achievement of heroines down the ages in London’s East End.

Yesterday, 20:09
Scene of tragedy at Mile End playpark

Three summer of events have been cancelled at a children’s playground in London’s East End which has been marred by tragedy where a five-year-old girl died.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder