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Former gangster Ronnie Knight retires to Cambridge

I wonder how many pensioners have knocked on their new neighbour’s door to borrow a cup of sugar.

Ronnie Knight, now 73, the former East End gangster once married to Barbara Windsor, has moved into a very modest one-bed pensioners’ housing block in Cambridge where he pays £360 a month rent.

He has chatted with fellow pensioners about his life of crime and marriage to Babs, who provided furniture for his flat when he moved in.

His high life now includes a choice of bingo, coffee mornings, shopping trips to Tesco, a game of dominoes, trips to Newmarket races and afternoon cream teas. A far cry from the showbiz parties he once frequented, though he is said to keep himself to himself.

He hit hard times a few years ago when he was caught shoplifting, tame stuff compared to the former crimes of the once flamboyant villain who lived the high life on the “Costa del Crime” for 10 years on part of the proceeds of a £6 million robbery.

I’ve got no idea why he ended up in Cambridge, but he is in good company, among the great and the good and some of the cleverest brains in the world.


20 Comments

  1. William Evans

    Met Ronnie a number of years ago when working in his flat in Cambridge. Very chatty and a nice bloke, it was a neighbour who advised me of who he was. I take him on face value, a nice fella who helped his less fortunate neighbours, whe he could.

  2. John Haddow

    Met Ronnie Quite a few times when he lived in spain, He owned a club called Ronnie Knights, Used to pop in end of a night out, What a gentleman he was, First spoke to him in the Toilet and that was the beginning, Bought the wife and I a few drinks, People call him for what he was, But until you know a person you cant judge. Hope your keeping well Ronnie.

  3. So what happend to the crooks reunited website?
    did you hear about that Guvnor film? apparently documentry is out in may

  4. run with family member daresay it`l make no money …like last site he had, but hey ho at least its straight money if there is any….ha ha

  5. His new hobby is a far cry from dominoes he`s not quite retired yet ! new website http://www.ronniesnaughties.com

  6. A life of crime? Pensioners? Will Mr. Brown be joining you all soon?

  7. Steven_L

    I kind of agree with CityUnslicker – glorifying crime doesn’t wash with me either.

    These people tended to make their money through violent armed robberies back in his day – now it’s through drugs.

    They are all scum.

  8. electro-kevin

    According to Babs these chaps were always “True gen’lemen.” and she is lauded so often by media types as a ‘national institution’ – thus art and entertainment was the vanguard of moral decay, whereas as it could have been for public edification.

    The celebrification of the talentless and their support of downright nasty villains is one of the worst things to have happened to our country – it made rudeness, ruthlessness and violence more acceptable nay respected.

    Ronnie Knight’s peaceful and comfortable dotage compared to many a struggling war veteran tells us all we need to know about the criminal justice system in our country.

  9. Presume you’ll be dropping by for a cuppa cha, Ellee.

  10. I can’t stand the celebrity givn out to horrible B*stards like this. He no doubt is in not too bad nick himself, just the GBH’s on his victims that leae marks.

    I hope he is too old & slow and gets hits by a bus in the near future.

  11. Former gangster? If he was one before, he still is now. I know Barbara Windsor was always involved, perhaps more than her public image will tell us.

  12. I didn’t know he was still alive!

  13. Ian Lidster

    I guess, in deference to Babs, he’s going to ‘carry on carrying on.’

    Ian

  14. Is that babs Windsor with him Ellee , i have n=met her a few times in a local pub..well I say met ,sat near to would be more accurate.
    I also spoke to her once at a book signing thing ..she was bit dull .

  15. Jim, He needs to take a leaf out of your book and become close to nature, that always raises the spirits.

  16. I’d be curious to know if is is actually happier in his present life style? Who knows, but it’s possible that he is!

  17. How sad but also how mind-boggling. Will he be pushing in at the chip shop queue in Trumpington, then?

  18. Lee, Too true. In fact, Knight didn’t want to be interviewed by the local press, but they took a photo of him in his D-reg Ford, and he still has a good head of hair and a twinkle in his eye.

    The paper quoted a friend of his saying: “He just wants a quiet life. He is getting older and wants to enjoy the time he has left.”

    I shall look out for him when I go punting this summer or visit my favourite haunt, The Orchard Tearooms in Grantchester, which are not too far from his home. In fact, the tearooms are right next door to Jeffrey Archer’s house – now couldn’t they have a good chat! 😉

    • Would love to interview him, do you know what residential home he is in in cambridge? Kind regards

  19. My Goodness! Fancy Knight being 73 now. Where do the years go to? There could be a lot of interesting conversations over the bingo table or morning teas!

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