Not just a pass­ing Krays re­sem­b­lence

Broth­ers names echo Lon­don’s no­to­ri­ous twins

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

LEG­END – the film re­leased last week about the Kray twins – will be a must see for one Uxbridge fam­ily.

Prison of­fi­cer James Whe­lan has 14-year-old twin sons who he named af­ter the broth­ers, who were in­fa­mous for ter­ror­is­ing the East End dur­ing the 1960s.

He said he de­cided to do it be­cause he was so close to his own brother grow­ing up that the pair were nick­named the Krays.

James, who works at Feltham Young Of­fend­ers In­sti­tute, named his sons James Kray Whe­lan and Kai Paul Kray Whe­lan.

He said: “I had a brother who’s 18 months younger than me. We were al­ways get­ting in trou­ble and looked alike.

“My dad died when I was 14 and we were brought up very tight as broth­ers. We al­ways quickly jumped to the other’s de­fence and de­fended each other’s hon­our.

“We were nick­named the Kray twins within our football fanzines and we were fas­ci­nated with the Krays, so when the op­por­tu­nity came for me to call my sons the Krays I thought I’d give it a go. Some of my fam­ily weren’t too im­pressed though!

“If I’d have got away with it I would have called them Ron­nie and Reg­gie but my wife just let me give them the mid­dle name Kray.”

Their fa­ther says the iden­ti­cal pair, who at­tend Douay Mar­tyrs School in Hilling­don, have their fair share of sim­i­lar­ity to the Krays.

“They’re quite pop­u­lar and mis­chievous as twins tend to be and they’re quite a pair of mon­keys. They’ve got a se­ri­ous like­ness in their looks to the Krays, so it makes more of an im­pact.

“They’re very sim­i­lar as ones a stronger char­ac­ter than the other, they’re both good at maths, both very com­pet­i­tive at football. One’s very cheeky when it comes to the girls, but the other holds back.”

The twins, who are keen foot­ballers and en­joy think­ing up mon­ey­mak­ing schemes, says it’s “weird” be­ing named af­ter twins that were so o fa­mous.

They said: “We e know a lit­tle bit t about the Krayy twins - that they were fa­mous for be­ing good at box­ing.

We love to spar with our Dad but he won’t let us spar with each other and I know they were very close to their mum. They were in prison for a long time, not sure what for but ob­vi­ously could not of been good.

“Peo­ple say we look like them - but we def­i­nitely will not be go­ing to prison!”

Mr Whe­len, Feltham prison of­fi­cer, says it’s “quite funny” that he started the job 18 months af­ter they were born, and tells pris­on­ers and staff he’s re­lated to the Krays as a joke.

He added: “I try not to pro­mote the (neg­a­tive side) of the Krays with the twins.

“I try to pro­mote how loyal they were to their mum. I don’t know if they know a hell of a lot about the crime side of it, but they like the razzmatazz and the showbiz side of it.

“They were the real-life movie stars, but they did do bad things. You’re go­ing to have the good and bad with the Krays. So I’m just hope­fully pro­mot­ing the bet­ter side of them and avoid­ing that part, es­pe­cially with my job. We all know they were not an­gels!”

Leg­end, di­rected by Brian Hel­ge­land, stars ac­tor Tom Hardy as Ron­nie and Reg­gie Kray.

n TWIN THING: Con­nor James Kray Whe­lan and Kai Paul Kray Whe­lan and (be­low) the poster for Leg­end, the new Krays film

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