Glasgow's Godfather

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Glasgow's Godfather by Robert Jeffrey

Walter Norval was a man marked by destiny to be a career criminal in one of Britain's hardest cities. As a boy he grew up in a world of illegal betting, violent canal bank pitch-and-toss schools, sleazy dance halls, brothels and bars where the denizens of the slums in the north side of Glasgow slaked gargantuan thirsts and plotted murder and mayhem. Before he had reached his teens, close relatives had died as blood was spilled in the streets. As a youngster he ran 'messages' for the toughest gangsters in the city and stood guard over the pots of cash in illegal gambling schools. It was a remarkable apprenticeship, dangerous and sometimes deadly. It honed a latent toughness and a talent for lawbreaking that saw him emerge in the Seventies as the first of a succession of Glasgow godfathers. Dressed in pinstriped style, he controlled his foot soldiers with fearsome fists and planned robberies with the attention to detail of a military general. He organised various Glasgow fighting factions into a single gang, which pulled off a spectacular series of robberies. But, unlike his successors, he abhorred drugs and drug-dealing. And, in a remarkable twist, he joined the anti-drugs war in later life. His story - told by the best-selling crime historian Robert Jeffrey - provides a fascinating insight into the making of a criminal mastermind, from boy to man.

The extraordinary true life of Walter Norval, told by best-selling crime historian Robert Jeffrey, Glasgow’s Godfather offers a remarkable insight into the world of real-life criminal mastermind.

Walter Norval grew up in the grittiest area of Glasgow; An area rife with violence and mayhem, sleazy bars and brothels, and illegal betting. Before Norval even reached his teenage years, close relatives of his had been killed, and Norval was running ‘messages’ for some of the toughest gangsters around, standing guard over the cash stored in illegal gambling schools. This unusual upbringing no doubt shaped Norval’s destiny as a career criminal, and in the seventies, Norval emerged as the first of a succession of Glasgow godfathers. He kept his foot soldiers in line with threats of violence, organised various fighting factions in the city into a single gang, and pulled off a series of successful robberies, all of which he meticulously planned “with the attention to detail of military general.” However, in stark contrast to his successors, Norval despised everything about drugs and drug-dealing, and astonishingly, chose to join the anti-drugs war later in his life

This incredible true tale written so astutely by bestselling non-fiction writer Robert Jeffrey is a truly fascinating read and comes highly recommended for anyone interested in learning about the unthinkable world of this very calculating, very capable, criminal.

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