Ireland’s most tattooed man flaunts Kray twins ink – with sentimental meaning
A doting dad has had notorious gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray tattooed to his back – beside a portrait of his daughter.
Chris Dalzell – also known as Ireland’s most tattooed man – covered himself in body art to cope with his little girl’s health issues.
Jessica, now six, has been in and out of hospital since birth and suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare condition affecting connective tissues.
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And her father is now 95% engulfed in ink after his latest work involved the controversial Kray twins.
The infamous pair terrorised east London in the 1950s and 60s by dishing out brutal violence.
They ran a criminal network and had a fearsome reputation for hijacking, armed robbery and arson.
Cops eventually pounced on the brothers and they were caged for murdering fellow gangsters George Cornell and Jack McVitie.
But Chris, a 36-year-old chef from Bangor, Northern Ireland, wanted their portraits beside Jessica.
Explaining why, he exclusively told Daily Star: “The Kray brothers are on either side of her as if they are protecting her.
“I wanted the Krays because they are well-known famous figures. I was torn with Charles Bronson and them.
“I know the Krays have a bad reputation but they were very loyal. It was more about a sign of protection on my back.
“If I’m out and about with my T-shirt off people will see that it’s clearly a picture of my daughter and the meaning behind the Krays represents protection.”
Chris – who always dreamed of being a father – had no tattoos before his first child Jessica was born.
But he transformed himself within two years while she spent three weeks out of four in hospital every month.
He said: “Tattoos were a way for me to cope.
“When Jessica was home for respite for the week a friend who is a tattoo artist came to my house three times a week and tattooed me for eight hours.
“Seeing my daughter in the hospital with all the tubes was too much for me.”
Chris always vowed to remove the tattoos if his kids ever suffered for them growing up – but he insisted that has not been the case.
Jessica now loves her father’s ink and he is known as the “cool dad with the tattoos” by her school pals.
She lives in constant discomfort and now has a colostomy bag and a feeding tube in her stomach and she may end up in a wheelchair.
But Chris, who recently had a second daughter, hopes his tattoos show his kids that anything is possible.
The former Jeremy Kyle contestant explained: “If I can walk about the streets looking how I look now and lead a normal happy life and still get a job and earn good money then my kids can do whatever they set their mind to.
“There is nothing that can come in Jessica’s way after everything she’s been through.
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“I want her to think ‘this is nothing for me’ and that’s my message.
“This isn’t about me, it's about raising awareness for my daughter and her rare condition.”
Chris has paid privately for Jessica to have major surgeries in London and he is continuing to raise money for her and the EDS community.
He now has his own clothing range – N.I Tatt Man – with all proceeds going towards Jessica's ongoing treatment.
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