Peaky Blinders: Who is Billy Kimber? Was Billy Kimber a real Birmingham gangster?
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Wild Bill star Charlie Creed-Miles portrayed racecourse kingpin, Billy Kimber, in the first season of Peaky Blinders in 2013. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about the character Billy Kimber and his backstory.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers about Peaky Blinders season 1
Who is Billy Kimber?
In Peaky Blinders, Billy Kimber was the head of the Birmingham Boys and the main enemy of Peaky Blinder’s leader, Thomas Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy).
In the series, Billy ran most of the legal racing tracks in the Midlands and the North and was the biggest organised crime boss in the UK.
After the First World Ear, Billy set up a second a base in Islington, North London to concentrate on the racetracks in the South of England.
This led to tensions with Tommy as he was looking to expand the Peaky Blinders influence and control in London.
After finding out that his races were fixed by the Peaky Blinders, Billy threatened to kill Tommy.
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However, Tommy proposed the gangs work together but in true Tommy style, he had plans to betray Billy later down the line.
Billy learned of Tommy’s plans to betray him thanks to the information provided by Grace Burgess (Annabelle Wallis) to the police.
As a result, a gang-war broke out between the Italian’s, the Birmingham Boys and the Peaky Blinders outside the Peaky Blinders Garrison Pub.
In the end, the Peaky Blinders were victorious, defeating The Birmingham Boys with a single large machine gun.
Tommy then killed Billy by shooting him in the head with a single blow from his handgun.
Was Billy Kimber a real Birmingham gangster?
Yes, Billy Kimber was a real Birmingham gangster and leader of the real Birmingham Boys.
The Birmingham Boys were a street gang who had significant power in the North of England and London between the 1910s and 1930.
The head of The Birmingham Boys was William ‘Billy’ Kimber, from Aston, Birmingham.
Billy had gangs in Uttoxeter and Leeds, which allowed him to control racecourses in the Midlands and the North of England.
Extending their influence in London and the South East, Billy teamed up with London gang boss, Charles ‘Wag’ McDonald, of the Elephant and Castle Mob.
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He also formed alliances with a smaller organisation such as the Hoxton Gang.
In London, The Birmingham Boys and their allies began targeting Jewish
bookies from London’s East Ends, who turned to local underworld boss Edward Emmanuel, who in turn recruited the Italian Sabini Gang as protection.
Famously in March 1921, the Billy and the Birmingham Boys attacked the Sabini Gang at Greenford Park Trotting Track.
Days later, Billy was shot and beaten in Kings Cross, London with the Greenford Park attack.
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The violence escalated, leading to the Epsom Road Battle, where the Birmingham Boys lost control of the South East racecourses to the Sabini Gang.
Billy died in 1942 at Mount Stuart Nursing Home in Torquay after suffering a long illness. He was 63-years-old.
His obituary in the local newspaper asserted that “his great interest in life, both personal and professional, was racing and he was well known and respected on every racecourse in England”.
Peaky Blinders is streaming on Netflix now
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