At the beginning of August this year, Micky Fawcett, a former associate of the Kray Twins, Ronnie & Reggie, re-met Fred Foreman at the Radisson Hotel in London’s Tottenham Court Road.
They had not met since the 1960s.
When I met Micky more recently, I asked him about ‘Brown Bread’ Fred.
“I used to see him quite a bit,” he told me. “I had some quite interesting times with him – he had that pub in the Borough, just as you come over London Bridge. I used to go and see him and go upstairs and have a glass of vintage port with him.”
“Brown Bread is Cockney rhyming slang for Dead,” I said. “He had a reputation.”
“He saved a man’s life once,” said Micky. “No-one really believed him. But I was a witness to the fact he did.
“The Twins were trying to get a spieler (an illegal gambling club) going underneath the Regency (a club they owned). A few of us were down there and Ronnie walked out of the toilet, pulled out a revolver, put it at a feller’s head and the gun jammed.
“Everyone was diving under the tables. Fred, Reggie and myself leapt forward and Fred ended up wrestling with Ronnie to try and get the gun out of his hand and eventually he did.
“What had happened was this feller called George Dixon had had a spot of bother with the Nash family and he was a bit concerned. So he had said to Ronnie: I’m having a bit of trouble with the Nashes; I wonder if you could help me?
“And Ronnie said: Yeah, OK, but keep out of the way until I give you the all clear,
“Then this feller Dixon saw Charlie Kray and said: I had a bit of trouble with the Nashes and Ronnie said he would help me. Could you find out what’s happening?
“So Charlie said: Yeah, OK. Come down the Regency on Monday.
“So Dixon had disobeyed Ronnie, but it was a little bit deeper than that. Because I think something had happened sexually between Ronnie and Georgie Dixon.
“When it happened, Ronnie started shouting out: Just cos you know me in one, don’t mean to say I’m… and you’re using me to… – and you wouldn’t have known what he was talking about if you didn’t also have an evil mind and suspect the worst.
“Since then, it’s gone into folklore but no-one believes Freddie Foreman saved a feller’s life. And he did. I was there.
“He’s got a documentary coming out next year. I think it will be good.”