South East Wales

Welsh MP explores life of 'gangster' boxer Freddie Mills

The book Fearless Freddie: The Life and Times of Freddie Mills
Image caption MP Chris Evans has written Fearless Freddie : the life and times of Freddie Mills

If the boxer Freddie Mills was alive today he would have a case to sue for libel according to a Welsh MP.

Chris Evans, the Labour MP for Islwyn, has written a book about the former world light-heavyweight champion.

He told Good Morning Wales he became fascinated after hearing rumours about his mysterious death and his gangster associates from his great aunt.

A book published in 2001 claimed Mills was a serial killer, responsible for the deaths of at least eight women.

His death in 1965 has been the subject of much rumour and speculation. He was found in the back of a car, having shot himself through his right eye.

Mr Evans said: "My great auntie was from Bethnal Green [in London] and she actually grew up on the same road as the Krays so she knew Ron, Reggie and Charlie very well.

Image caption Freddie Mills was born in Bournemouth in 1919

"She used to come to my grandma's house and regale us with tales of the east end... and she'd tap her nose and she'd say 'and I knew who did Fred'.

"And she'd say it in the conspiratorial way she used to speak and I always wondered who Fred was."

He said he became "fascinated" when his aunt told him Mills was the "biggest boxer in the land but he got in with the wrong crowd and somebody killed him".

Image caption Freddie Mills was the world light heavyweight champion from 1948 to 1950

He said there was "a lot of scandalous stuff around Freddie" and "nobody had their reputation tarnished as much after death as Freddie. I wanted to find out what the real story was."

He rubbished rumours he had been killed by the Krays: "If they had killed Freddie Mills they would have been shunned by the boxing community and they loved being in the boxing community and they would have hated that.

"Apart from being associates with Freddie, there's no real link there to say that the Krays were involved with his death."

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