Friends of Kray jam hospital's phone lines

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of well-wishers have been jamming the phone lines at the hospital where gangster Reggie Kray is dying from cancer, it emerged yesterday.

Hundreds of well-wishers have been jamming the phone lines at the hospital where gangster Reggie Kray is dying from cancer, it emerged yesterday.

A separate phone line has been set up at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to cope with people ringing to pass on their best wishes to the 66-year-old former East End crime lord, said the hospital's acting chief executive, Anne Osborn.

Kray is being treated for cancer of the bladder at the hospital, where he is staying after being freed from prison on Saturday on compassionate grounds by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw.

A friend of Kray said he would not be having any visitors today or tomorrow, adding: "He's very tired."

Ms Osborn said: "Mr Kray is feeling a little better today and is now able to sit up in a chair in his hospital room." Earlier, doctors had confirmed that he will definitely not be discharged this week.

His wife, Roberta, has maintained a vigil at her husband's bedside in his private room, believed to be on the ninth floor of the hospital's main building.

Kray and his identical twin Ronnie - older by 45 minutes - were Britain's most notorious gangland figures until they were jailed in 1969 for murder. Ronnie Kray died six years ago. Their elder brother, Charlie, died in April this year, aged 73.

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