As a schoolboy Brad Lane was so obsessed with Reggie Kray he adopted his surname.
From his Doncaster home he also gathered a bizarre collection of memorabilia relating to the East End
gangster – including letters, signed books, photographs, scrapbooks, Christmas and birthday cards and
personal gifts. Now the hoard is expected to fetch a staggering 50,000 at auction.
Reggie Kray's Collins dictionary and a signed autobiography by George Best are other items along with a complaints form requesting to see the prison governor of Gartree.
Mr Lane first wrote to the gangster while trying to collect autographs and went on to become a firm friend. He was even legally declared his adopted son.
Toby Service, of Brightwells in Herefordshire, who are selling the collection, said: "It's all bizarre and fascinating stuff. The collection was amassed by Brad, who became obsessed with Reggie Kray when his own father deserted the family home in the 1980s. Brad first wrote to Reggie in Gartree prison in 1988 and the two were soon corresponding on a daily basis. Personal meetings followed and
Brad quickly became Reggie's most frequent visitor, even getting his mother, Kim, to drive the 600-mile round trip when Reg was transferred to Lewes prison.
"By 1991, Reggie had been moved to nearby Nottingham jail and the two became
so devoted to one another
that 12-year-old Brad changed his surname to Kray by
"In return, 57-year-old Reggie signed a legal document declaring Brad to be his adopted son and kept a photo of the boy on his prison cell wall inscribed: 'To the best dad in the world from the best son in the world'."
Mr Lane also visited Reggie's twin brother, Ronnie, in Broadmoor, and the two exchanged many letters. Both the Kray Twins showered him with gifts and many are for sale.
These include poems and paintings by the twins, audio cassettes and video tapes. There are also portable radios used by Reggie Kray in jail, souvenir dollar coins and buddhas.
Photos showing the twins as young boxers are also on offer, together with a membership card for the Double RR Club, a notorious 60s drinking den they owned and a unique official Old Bailey Pass allowing their father, Charles Kray to attend their trial.
Many of the books, cards, letters and photographs reflect the bizarre celebrity cult that always surrounded the Krays, being sent by well-known admirers such as Barbara Windsor, George Best, Garry Bushell, Patsy Kensit, Max Bygraves, Jools Holland, Frank Bruno and Jon Bon Jovi.
There are also letters to Reggie from other notorious figures such as Scottish gangster Jimmy Boyle and the man dubbed Britain's most dangerous prisoner, Charles Bronson, subject of a recent film.
Most poignant are the letters, poems and lyrics that the twins regularly sent to one another long after their reign of terror was over.
Ronnie Kray died of a heart attack in Broadmoor in 1995 and the sale includes several photographs of his funeral and six Order of Service cards, each signed "God bless, Reg Kray." His twin was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, just weeks before his death from cancer.
The collection is being sold by Mr Lane's mother following his own death. The sale will take place on May 13.