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From the boxing clubs and street-markets of 1970s East London to Hollywood's red carpets - the knockout autobiography by one of Britain's best-loved actors
Ray Winstone was born in Hackney Hospital in February 1957, and spent the early years of his life playing on the bombsites of Plaistow. At the age of eight, his family moved him up the A10 to the cultural wasteland of Enfield, and from that moment on, Ray was constantly looking for ways to get back home to the East End - from 'banging up' on his dad's market stalls, to winning 80 out of 88 bouts as a three-time London schoolboy boxing champion for Bethnal Green's famous Repton club. Having achieved the rare distinction of being suspended from nursery school, he was asked to leave a series of educational establishments (including drama college), before finally graduating with first-class honours from the university of life.
* A gripping insight into his youth ... For fans of his violent turns in Scum, Nil by Mouth or Sexy Beast, this is a perfect literary counterpart. For everyone else, it's an engaging portrait of a boy done good Telegraph * Brilliant ... Young Winstone is a must-read Shortlist * As much about London as his nascent career. Ray made such an impression in Scum that I still remember his prison number, and he is just as vivid on his formative years, losing his virginity at 14 standing up by the mini-golf, and generally running riot around Mile End. There'll be another volume, I hope Independent on Sunday, Best books on film in 2014 * Worth a read for anyone who enjoys Ray's cheeky charms Empire