Gangster Roy Shaw features in new book aimed at ‘setting the record straight’
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
The life of a gangster who beat up a Kray Twins henchman features in a new book aimed at setting the record straight.
Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw grew up in Porters Avenue, Dagenham, and according to author Jamie Boyle besides being one of the most feared men in British boxing in his youth was also wrongly linked to crimes including murder.
“Roy was a legend in Essex. He was an incredibly generous man. He had a temper, but never bullied anyone,” Jamie said.
He was born in Stepney in 1936 before his parents moved to Dagenham. His dad’s death in a motorbike accident had a ‘profound effect’ on 10-year-old Roy.
Badly bullied over his height, he started boxing as a teenager then started doing armed robberies and raiding warehouses from 17.
After escaping from prison he signed with boxing promoter Mickey Duff going on to win 10 out of 10 fights, eight of which were knock outs.
But spells in prison – including five years in Broadmoor where he became friends with disgraced DJ, Sir Jimmy Saville – almost finished his career with no one taking him on because of his age.
- 1 Bow flat fire caused by sunlight on glass bottle
- 2 Ranjith Kankanamalage death: Man charged with murder
- 3 Bow man accused of carrying out fatal hammer attack appears at Old Bailey
- 4 Gallery: Hidden photos reveal London's East End in the 1960s
- 5 Bow man charged with drugs supply and criminal property offences
- 6 Crossrail: Canary Wharf station ready as Elizabeth Line nears opening
- 7 Covid patients numbers declining in east London hospitals
- 8 Japanese udon noodles chain to mark Canary Wharf opening with free bowls
- 9 Riverside park extension above new sewage structures given green light
- 10 East End's 'last' Victorian funeral parlour being restored - and opens as burger bar
Undeterred, he started the London Unlicensed Circuit with Kray Twins strongman Joey Pyle Senior going on to face Lennie ‘The Guv’nor’ McLean in the ring, defeating him once.
“There was great rivalry between them. They hated each other. The fights went down in history,” Jamie, 39, said.
But fighting happened outside the ring too with one scrap seeing Roy bash in a Kray Twin henchman in Mile End Road.
Luckily, he smoothed things over by visiting the notorious gangsters at their Bethnal Green home.
But later in life Roy had another fall out linked to the Krays after was was featured in the book Murder, Madness and Marriage by Ronnie Kray’s then wife Kate.
Jamie’s book, Roy Shaw - Mean Machine! was written with the help of Roy’s son Gary as an attempt to set the record straight.
“The family want to say he wasn’t always the best behaved character, but he’s been linked to a lot of bad things they say he had nothing to do with,” Jamie said.
This includes murders and knocking out ten men.
Paying tribute to Roy, who died in 2012, Jamie said: “For right or wrong, he left his mark on Essex.”
The book comes out on May 12.
To order click here.