A daughter only discovered her dad was one of Britain’s most notorious gangsters and enemy of the Krays – after she was asked to STUDY him at university.
Abi Keogh had no idea she was part of a powerful crime family until she opted to take a module in crime fiction as an English Literature student.
She had been brought up by father Eddie Fewtrell – who had kept her sheltered from his role as a criminal underworld kingpin.
Despite her dad’s fearsome reputation as a Birmingham gangster Abi had been heavily protected as a child and was kept in the dark about what he was really up to.
She only discovered who he really was when she went to uni and he was in a book she was asked to read for her course.
Stunned Abi says it then all made sense – and why boys w
ouldn’t approach her because they were so scared of him.
She also says she now understands why her dad was able to move in circles which included Tom Jones, LuLu and Tina Turner.
Abi, 42, said: ‘”I took a module on crime fiction and opened one of the books on a page about Chris Lambrianou, a man who my dad would refer to as ‘London Chris’.
“I knew who he was because he would hang around at the Elbow Room club where my dad said I was forbidden to go.
“I read on and it started talking about my dad and referred to the Fewtrells as ‘the gangster family’.”
Her dad was notorious Birmingham club owner Eddie Fewtrell, who successfully battled Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
They had wanted to extend and exert influence beyond the reign of terror they exuded in the East End of London in the 1960s.
Abi described her childhood in Birmingham as “strange” and says she would regularly wake up to the likes of legendary crooner Tom Jones drinking coffee in her kitchen.
Tina Turner sang at Abi’s christening and her mum was very close friends with pop singer Lulu.
For four decades, the Fewtrell brothers, including Eddie, Don and Chris, entertained the city and became the Kings of Clubland.
Eddie, who was known as ‘Mr Nightclub’, sold his empire 15 years ago, but the Fewtrell name is still recognised all around Birmingham.
Although Abi was aware that her family had power but did not know the full truth until she read about them while at Gloucester University.
She describes her upbringing as “both a blessing and a curse” as she had the ultimate protection, but sometimes felt smothered.
She said: “When I was a teenager, I always wondered why no boys would go out with me.
“I never really had a boyfriend when I was younger because people were too scared to approach me.
“I really fancied one of dad’s bouncers named Tony and always wondered why he was not interested in me at all. I eventually told him that I fancied him and asked him if he felt the same.
“He said that if he went near me, what dad planned to do to the Krays would be nothing in comparison to the punishment he’d receive.”
Her family’s reputation preceded her wherever she went, but her protective father made sure any criminal activities were kept from her.
She added: “If I went to a pub, my dad would know everything that had happened while I was there. I was completely protected.”
Abi, who now has two sons with husband David, 52, says she “enjoys the anonymity” of living in a village near Ivybridge, Devon.
Described as a “miracle baby” at birth after doctors said mum Hazel would never conceive again, Eddie opened a club in her honour named Abigail’s.
Abi says that despite her dad’s wealth, he would never give money away, and encouraged all of the youngsters in the family to work from a young age.
“From the age of 14, me and my cousins would have to work with Dad to get any pocket money,” said Abi, who runs pilates classes in and around Plymouth.
“All my brothers and cousins would work in the clubs. When I was younger, I worked in the cloakroom and got to see Nirvana and Pearl Jam.”
Abi maintains that her dad never intended to be involved with gangsters, and was just trying to protect his family.
Her husband David has now published a book titled the Accidental Gangster documenting the Fewtrell’s battle with the Kray twins during the 1960s as they sought to take over Birmingham.