Tomorrow, the funeral of Roy Shaw is held in the quiet Essex village of Upshire. He died ten days ago, aged 76.
Currently, Wikipedia describes him as “an English millionaire, real estate investor, author and businessman from the East End of London who was formerly a criminal and Category ‘A’ prisoner. During the 1970s-1980s, Shaw was active in the criminal underworld of London and was frequently associated with the Kray Twins.”
It is only then that Wikipedia mentions his main claim to fame: the unlicensed/illegal boxing scene.
Roy Shaw was legendary for his unlicensed/illegal fights, particularly against Lenny McLean.
When I met him on the set of the Killer Bitch movie a couple of years ago, he was quietly-spoken and seemed rather shy. Gentlemanly in an old-fashioned kind of way.
“He was a sweet old boy he was. He had a heart of gold,” Lou told me last night.
Lou was the armourer and ‘death consultant’ on Killer Bitch.
“You knew him after he was a boxer?” I asked.
“Oh yeah. I knew him from about 1995/1996 from all the charity-raising things,” Lou said. “In the old days, he was built. Really strong man. Amazing. It was like his ears had muscles. The muscles started just below his ears and went down to his shoulders. He was in terrific shape.”
Roy Shaw was not the only recent death in the Killer Bitch cast.
Sean Boru died in February.
He only made a tiny appearance in the movie, but had the most extraordinary stories when I talked to him off-set.
He beat cancer three times, wrote his own autobiography No Sense of Tumour and ghost wrote the biographies of £9.7 million Lottery winner Michael Carroll (who also appeared in Killer Bitch) and snooker player Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins. He turned down the offer of writing rock reprobate Pete Doherty’s autobiography, reportedly on the basis that model Kate Moss was concerned it would expose too much of her private life.
He was also chummy with former alleged Irish bank-robber Gerry Hutch – ‘The Monk’ – much talked-of when I worked in Ireland in the mid-1990s.
Last night, I discovered Lou had made pocket money out of Killer Bitch’s notoriety:
“I bought an 8mm blank-firing .44 automatic for the film,” he told me. “It cost me £40 and I sold it the other week for £125. The guy wanted it because it had been used in Killer Bitch. Being used in the film had ‘added worth’ to it.
“And I sold that curved jambiya knife we used in the opening scene – where the naked girl stabs Ben Dover to death – I paid £12 for that at an arms fair and I sold it to a bloke for £40. Again, he wanted it because it had been used in the film.”
I spent two hours having tea with Lou.
When I came home, there was an e-mail waiting for me from film director Paul Wiffen, whom I blogged about yesterday.
“I was interested to read in your blog about the idea that people will be half-watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony in case there is a terrorist attack,” Paul’s e-mail said.
“However, I am fully expecting a terrorist attack not on the Olympic Stadium itself but on Stratford station. By making this the ‘public transport’ Olympics, the Einsteins at LOCOG have picked the terrorists’ target for them. If terrorists destroy the transport hub, which is completely unprotected, then they bring the Olympics to a standstill without having to crack the stadium security.
“Stratford is three stops on the barrierless Docklands Light Railway from the East London Mosque where they are taught (1) that all men should have a beard without an associated moustache, (2) that all women should be covered from head to toe at all times and – most worryingly – that, if they kill lots of men and women who don’t obey (1) and (2), Allah will give them 70 houris in Paradise. Quite what they will do with them once they have detonated Semtex in their underpants I am not sure.
“All this stuff with missiles on top of flats is really stupid. The security people need profiling on public transport from three miles away. If they don’t, then Stratford will be a sitting target for a lone individual. If he picks the right time, a single guy could kill 5,000 and shut the Olympics down without going anywhere near any of the G4S security people or the soldiers in the Stadium.”
In this blog, I partially try to give an insight into various lifestyles and interesting views on life, not just my own.
Tomorrow, I will not be attending Roy Shaw’s funeral in Essex, because I will be attending the interment of comedian Malcolm Hardee’s mother’s ashes in South London.
So it goes.