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Grandad and Reg during the first Jolly Boys Outing

Reginald Trotter was a character in Only Fools And Horses who appeared in 1 episode, Thicker than Water shown at Christmas 1983 played by Peter Woodthorpe. He appeared in the prequel Rock And Chips played by Shaun Dingwall.

Reg was the lazy and workshy father of Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and son of Grandad Trotter - (Edward Trotter), and husband of Joan Mavis Trotter. He was abusive to Joan when they were married, hence one of the reasons why she had an affair in 1960. Reg presumed that he was the father of Rodney Trotter born in November 1960. He was Rodney's legal father, and Rodney took his surname, but Rodney's biological father was Reg's mate Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. Reg once had a week off work with a cubic foot, and was also a wally with a disease.


Reginald Trotter was born in 26th June 1924 in Bermondsey, London the only child of Edward Trotter and Violet Trotter (Nee Rooney). In 1936 the family relocated to Peabody Buildings, Peckham Rye in Peckham, a couple of miles from Bermondsey. Reg left school at 14 but was quite lazy, he suffered from a sticky mattress. In November 1940, 16 year old Reg was called up for National Service. He was soon discharged. In 1944 he met Joan Mavis Hollins and they had a son Derek Edward Trotter in July 1945, named after his two grandfathers. Del's birth certificate may have been registered under his mothers maiden surname Hollins, with Reg named as the father. Reg and Joan married in 1947 at Our Lady Of The Divine Rosemary, Peckham.


In February 1960, Reg had been living at Orchard Street, Peckham, London, SE15 for many years. He was a lazy man, he left Joan to work as an ice cream seller at the local Palladium. Reg was friends with Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. When Joan fell pregnant after a brief affair with Freddie, Reg was totally unaware of this and naturally thought he was the father as Joan made him think he had come home drunk after a football match, and him and Joan had sex to celebrate. Actually Joan was lying, to make him think he was the father. She was a few months pregnant already by the time she said she was pregnant in June 1960. The family then moved from Orchard Street to a 12th floor flat.

Reg never knew he was not the father of baby Rodney Trotter when he was born on the 2nd November 1960. Reg was abusive towards Joan, and often his son Del had to defend Joan.

In July 1961, Reg would become a security guard for a tobacco warehouse in the docks, which Freddie described as "like putting a monkey in charge of a banana shop".

In June 1962, after Del got eight A's (which all stood for "Absent") due to skipping his O-level school exams, Reg remarked that he was always a waste of space. But Del would not stand for that, so he told Reg if he had been more of a man and looked after the family, Del wouldn't be out there bringing money into the flat. Reg punched Del in the face, but Del retaliated by beating Reg senseless in front of Joan, Grandad, Violet, and baby Rodney. Rodney was 1 and a half years old at the time, and was crying like mad during the row, which Grandad tried to stop. Rodney vaguelly recalled this in later life. While Del spent a couple of days in Brighton, Reg would spend a couple of days in hospital. Del eventually came home and apologised to both his parents, but now knew that Reg vowed never to hit Del, Rodney, or Joan ever again.

In Septmber 1963, when Freddie the Frog and Jelly both died in a explosion during a robbery at a post office in Plumstead, their deaths became the best bit of gossip Peckham had for years, as Reg went on and on about how he knew both Freddie and Jelly, how Joan worked for Freddie, and how Freddie was a close friend of the Trotters.

But at the same time, Joan begun drinking heavily and due to this, her health started to deteriorate and as Reg suffered from a "sticky mattress" as Del was to later say, Del had to graft to bring money into the flat. Also, the fights between Joan and Reg were worse than ever, and then they just stopped, because Reg, like always, never started a fight he couldn't win, and this one was beyond him. This mean Joan would do what she wanted, and nobody was going to stop her, until she sobered up.

Sometime in early January 1964, after New Year's, when Joan's failing health prevented her from getting out of bed, Reg just made himself scarce and went out gallivanting, and didn't even visit his wife when she was taken to the hospital.

When dying of her alcohol-related illness, in the hospice, Joan told Del to take her £500 for emergencies.

In 12th March 1964, Joan Mavis Trotter died. After her death, Del and Reg just ignored each other for the next four months.

On 12th July, when Del (who just turned 19 since it was his birthday) was out and Rodney was being looked after by Grandad, Reg packed a few things, including one of Del's coats, his birthday cake, and even Rodney's piggy bank, and walked out on the family, leaving no contact information. Even Grandad was unable to stop him, and couldn't believe his own son was spineless. Del came home that night to find Reg had gone. Reg had taken many things except the £500 that Joan had left him and Rodney, as Del had hidden it too well. he hid it inside the receiver of the phone.

1964-1983, life away from his family[]

Reg left Peckham and probably left London altogether after he walked out on his father and two sons. Del resented Reg for this. Reg later got work as a porter. In 1982, he moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne in the North of England. In 1982, Del even joked if they knew where their dad was living, they could send him a letter bomb.

Reg worked as a porter at Newcastle Infirmary in 1983. In December 1983, Reg saw a money making opportunity as he wanted to con his family out of money by pretending he has a blood disorder and wanted to pretend that Del Boy was not his son so that he could reclaim his place at the Trotters flat in Nelson Mandela House. One night he stole blankets and pillows from the hospital and then stole the chief gynecologist's Lambretta. He then rode off back towards Peckham, after 19 years of being away.


In December 1983, upon arriving back in Peckham, Reg went to Nelson Mandela House and knocked on the door of the Trotters flat. Rodney answered, but did not recognise him as he last saw him as a kid. Grandad came out and saw it was his son Reg. Grandad hugged him. He then said to Rodney this was his dad. Del came home that night and was told Reg was back.

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Del was none too pleased to see him and had never forgiven him for walking out on the family when Rodney was 5 years old. Reg said he had been in hospital reliving the moment he walked out that night. He said he was ill and had a hereditary illness, a blood disorder. He had been living in Newcastle and he had a document from Newcastle Infirmary to show he was ill. Del reluctantly let Reg stay the night. Reg ended up staying longer.

Del and Rodney did blood tests and were given the all clear, yet they had different blood groups, but the doctor said brothers can have different blood groups. It was hinted but never confirmed that Del and Rodney may have different fathers. Del knew his mother was not as saintly as he made out and was seeing other men at the time she fell pregnant with Rodney. Reg came home and said Del was the whodunnit, as he wanted to make Del think he was not really a Trotter so that Reg could reclaim his place as head of the family.

Del exposed Reg, saying that him and Rodney do have the same blood group, and someone added the B on the end of Del's hospital test results. Del rung Dr Becker and he said brothers can have different blood groups and that he rang Newcastle Infirmary to ask about Reg. Del said the hospital ran Reg's name through their computer and they had never heard of a patient called Trotter but they did have a porter called Trotter who stole lots of hospital supplies plus the chief gynecologist's Lambretta. This meant the form Reg showed to Del to say he was ill was a blank form and filled in by him to make it look genuine. Del said the doctor suggested he got lots of exercise like take a long brisk walk.

Reg knew he had been found out so packed his things and left Peckham again that night, this time for good. Del gave him a few quid. Rodney said that he was glad Reg was leaving as he had made it a miserable Christmas for all of them. Del soon reassured Rodney that things would be back to normal again. Grandad said to Del he has "burnt your pizza", and Del said "See what I mean?" That was the very last time Del, Rodney, and Grandad ever saw Reg.

After 1 January 1984 and his final exit from Peckham[]

After Reg left on New Year's Day 1984, he returned to Newcastle and was never seen or heard from again by his family or anyone in Peckham. He did not even briefly return to Peckham to attend his father's funeral in January 1985.

Reg probably never knew that Rodney got married in 1988. Rodney put Reg's last known occupation of "porter" down under father's name and occupation on the marriage certificate. Rodney was still unaware that Reg was not his blood father, but had suspicions when Freddie Robdal was mentioned a while earlier and how he dated Joan Trotter around the time when Rodney was conceived.

According to his 2015 book He Who Dares, Del wondered over the next 30 years on what ever happened to Reg, and wondered if he would ever turn up again. Reg never did return, which made Del assume that Reg is already dead, and called him a lousy father and a lousy human being, full stop. Del even said Reg was worse than Roy Slater.

It is very likely Reg is dead, as Del assumed. If Reg is still alive as of 2021, he will be 97 years old.


Reg never knew that Joan slept with Freddie Robdal at the time Rodney was conceived. As he left when Rodney was 3 years old, it is not known if Reg ever knew for sure he was not Rodney's father. Reg was clearly lying about Del and Rodney's blood groups in 1983, so may have had his own suspicions but this is not entirely known.


Well what can I say, Reg Trotter is on the same lines as Tommy Mackay and Roy Slater, totally mean and nasty with no redeeming features whatsoever. While Slater was a bent copper, Reg was a bent father, he was lazy, he hit his wife Joan and let her earn so she could support the family. In 1960, Reg found Joan was pregnant again and thought he was the father but it was Reg's friend, local villain Freddie Robdal, who had his wicked way with Joan when he sent Reg on a job to take left over decorating materials back to the shop in Kent. Reg could not cope with looking after another "son". After Joan died after a long illness in 1964, Reg just put himself first and left his elderly dad and his two sons to fend for themselves. Even when he returned in 1983, he played ill and pretended Del was not his son so he could reclaim his place. Reg was later exposed. It proved that he was rotten to the core and he left Peckham once again, this time for good. Del even said that Reg was evil and that it was like the Devil was standing right in front of them.

Memorable info[]

  • Born: 26th June 1924 (97 years ago)
  • Died: Prior to 2015
  • Full Name: Reginald Trotter
  • Siblings: None
  • Occupation: Porter (1983)


Only Fools And Horses

Rock And Chips (Only Fools And Horses prequel set in 1960-1962)