Eric Mitchell (1940 -1985) was the father of Phil Mitchell, Grant Mitchell and Sam Mitchell, and husband of Peggy Mitchell. He was also the brother of Clive Mitchell and Archie Mitchell, as well as the uncle of Ronnie Mitchell and Roxy Mitchell, Charlie Mitchell and Harry Mitchell.
Eric Mitchell was born in London in 1940, the son of Phillip Mitchell and Sandra Mitchell. Eric was a boxer and won a match in 1957 at the Hackney Empire. In September 1960, Eric married Peggy Mitchell because she was pregnant with Phil, who was born in January 1961. He was also in a gang with Den Watts and Gavin Sullivan.
Eric, a keen boxer, worked for gangster Johnny Allen. Johnny would taunt Eric, making him do demeaning jobs because Eric was a better boxer than him. Eric fell in love with a woman called Maureen and planned to elope with her, but changed his mind, unable to desert his family, who he grew to resent.
Eric took his angst out on Peggy and was often violent towards her and Phil. Peggy considered leaving when her sons, Phil and Grant, were teenagers, and once even tried to seduce Johnny Allen, but he turned her down. Peggy tried to save her marriage by having another child in 1975, her only daughter Sam.
Her relationship with Eric improved, but only temporarily, and when Kevin Masters employed Peggy to work at his minicab firm, they began a secret affair. When Eric developed cancer, Peggy gave up work to care for him. After Eric died in 1985, Peggy went on to marry Frank Butcher, albeit nearly 13 years later.
In 2015, Vincent Hubbard came to Walford and knew Ronnie and got into hot water with Phil but is later revealed to be working with the police on getting rid of Phil in revenge for his father Eric murdering Vincent's father years ago which was a close guarded secret between his son Vincent and wife Claudette Hubbard.
In June 2016, Peggy and Sharon were leafing through old photos and found a photo of Peggy with Eric taken when Phil was a baby, about 9 months old, so about late 1961. Eric bore a resemblance to a young Ronnie Kray, notorious East End gangster and one of the Kray Twins. Also a photo of Eric in about 1980 aged 40 was found among the collection, which included Peggy, Sal and an unknown man.
In February 2020, Phil mentioned Eric to Keanu Taylor that Eric used to tell him that "kindness is a weakness" when he was young. He also said that while Eric wasn't right about much, he was right about kindness being a weakness.