Inside the Quality Street Gang
My Life in the Manchester Underworld
by Jimmy Donnelly
JIMMY DONNELLY IS an underworld legend. Known to all as Jimmy the Weed, he has mixed with the most notorious gangsters in Britain and the Costa del Crime in a criminal career spanning five decades. He has been arrested on suspicion of serious crimes including murder, drug supply, violence and fraud, has faced numerous court trials – and walked free from them all.
Most infamously, Jimmy was a key figure in the Quality Street Gang, a mysterious group of ex-fighters, car dealers, scrap merchants and businessmen. They socialised with the city's elite, from footballers to rock stars and inspired the hit song, 'The Boys Are Back In Town.' They were also targeted by Greater Manchester Police who suspected them of involvement in major crime. In the mid-eighties they became embroiled in the sensational Stalker Affair, which led to a national political scandal and ultimately the resignation of the city's deputy chief constable.
In this explosive autobiography, Jimmy tells how he rose from humble beginnings to own pubs, clubs, car pitches and massage parlours, how he became the biggest illicit ticket agent in the North, and his great friendship with numerous figures from the worlds of crime, showbiz and sport, including the formidable exboxer Jim Swords, the man the QSG grouped around. He has seen and done it all: and tells it in unvarnished detail.
About the author:
JIMMY DONNELLY was born in Manchester in 1940 and worked as a youth on Smithfield Market, where he made many of the friends later dubbed the Quality Street Gang. He went on to own numerous pubs, clubs and businesses and to be immortalised in Thin Lizzy's 1976 rock anthem, 'Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed'. Now retired from crime, he lives quietly in the Ancoats area of the city.
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