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West Ham United 'hooligans' made Britain's hardest man 'run for his life'

West Ham United 'hooligans' made Britain's hardest man 'run for his life'

Gene Hackman, Mickey Rourke and Jaws actor Richard Kiel were also said to be in attendance during the incident.

One former West Ham United hooligan firm made 'Britain's toughest man' 'run scared for his life,' during one violent incident.

There's enough problems in football these days that it's a bloody good job that we don't have to contend with the hooligan culture of the 1970s and 80s.

Even today there is an intrigue about what happened back then, and not only because of the wonderful Green Street film from 2005.

Recently stories from firm culture have become quite popular, with one Millwall fan claiming he scared off 125 fans of rivals West Ham.

Unsurprisingly, the same fan didn't think that the Hammers were his 'toughest opponent,' the kind of statement you'd usually expect to hear a player make.

But the West Ham firms were to be feared just as much, at least according to them, as they apparently left Britain's 'toughest man' fearing for his life.

The man in question was bareknuckle boxer Lenny McLean, known as the hardest man in the country through his many underground fights and dealings with the 'criminal underworld.'

Ex-East End mobster Danny Woollard, writing in his book Wild Cats, claimed McLean was scared off by the Inter City Firm (ICF) during one of his fights.

"Lenny McLean and a few very large men started to give this drunken youth a good kicking," Woollard claimed.

"Barry Dalton and Billy Williams stopped it.

"Bill dragged this young man out, but unbeknown to anyone, ‘The Bomb’ set about this chap and gave him a proper hiding.

"Once the boy had regained consciousness, he started ringing his mates up. He was a member of West Ham’s notorious Inter City Firm."

Green Street, getting the badge in.
Green Street, getting the badge in.

"They all came, motor-loads of them, tooled up and looking for revenge.

"Roy Shaw, McLean, Williams, Carrington, Mickey Rourke and all the actors ran like scared rabbits to the club house, Woody’s, and locked themselves safely away.

"The Inter City Firm smashed the place to pieces.

"If they could have got hold of Billy Williams they would have killed him – quite deservedly, I thought, as he had taken a terrible liberty.

"Anyhow, after that, I gave up boxing promoting for a while and concentrated on my scrap business, just to let things quieten down for a while."

Nasty stuff.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, West Ham United, Premier League