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The launch of the autobiography of legendary Birmingham club owner Eddie Fewtrell has been cancelled following threats to staff at Waterstone's book store in New Street.

For many years, Fewtrell (now 75) had a virtual stranglehold on the city's night life, and he's a figure of much myth and controversy.

Legend had, it for example, that in the mid 60s he and his cohorts got wind that the Kray gang were coming from East End, and decided to meet their rivals en route from London at a service station on the M1.

The Fewtrells were so persuasive - according to the word on the street - that after a brief discussion the Kray's decided to turn tail and head back down south.

Details about this incident, and more, are promised in the book "King Of Clubs" (Brewin Books) which was due to be unveiled this morning, in the presence of various local luminaries including Steve Gibbons and Jeff Lynne..

BBC WM reported today that Waterstone's called off the event, however, after receiving threatening calls - although the company's official line is to blame "unforeseen circumstances".

Talking to Phil Upton on the Breakfast Show, Fewtrell said "I'm devastated, I just can't believe it...How they are being held to ransom by anonymous people making phone calls I just can't understand."

Despite his celebrity connections, Fewtrell - who recently returned to the local scene by opening "Subside" in Paradise Circus - has clearly made a number of enemies over the years.

One of his best known venues, Barbarella's was lampooned in a song by local punk legends The Prefects ("they've got tickets for the exits" ran one line) and it's been claimed - whether accurately or not we can't say - that The Specials "Gangsters" was an homage to the club owner.

In any event, Fewtrell certainly has a fascinating tale to tale, and we look forward to reading it.

Did you ever use Eddie Fewtrell's clubs?

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