Describing himself as a ‘stone-cold sober raving lunatic’, Lenny Mclean was not the kind of guy you wanted to mess with.
The bare-knuckles boxer is widely known as “Britain’s hardest man”, and before he starred in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the burly Pom worked as security at a UK club where, one night, his reputation was tested by a group of 18 troublemakers.
Lenny is perhaps best known as the hardman in Guy Ricthie’s famous movie, but the brawler’s reputation was already sealed before he bashed in heads in the movie.
Back when he was just Lenny the Bouncer, he worked at the Barbican club in Smithfield Market in the UK. One night, a stag party of 18 men began misbehaving and hurling abuse at the bar lady. When she finally broke into tears, Lenny had had enough of their nonsense and approached the group.
Lenny decided it was time for them to leave, and said: “OK, you’re all drunk, there’s 18 of you, and you’re very brave. You want to fight, we’ll go outside…”
Perhaps it was the booze and their 18-1 odds that made the group brave, but taking up the challenge, the stag party moved outside, grabbing any weapon they could find on their way out. On the way, Lenny asked the owner of the club if he was going to help out, to which he replied “I pay you for this”, before locking the door behind the men.
Armed with ashtrays and bottles, the group foolishly squared off with the big guy. What ensued was something out of a Jason Statham movie and one after the other, Lenny beat the living s*** out of the 18 guys.
Writing in his memoir, The Guvner, Lenny recalls: “I pulled a nice little cosh out of my pocket and went through the lot of them. They went down like Skittles as I slashed left and right like a maniac.”
By the time the police arrived, he had already knocked out nine of the men, and perhaps not believing one man could do so much damage, they arrested everyone.Even the cells didn’t deter the boxer, and as the stag party woke up one by one in their cells, Lenny was still raving at them like a madman while screaming “Look at me! You’re not seeing me with a drink inside me: I’m like this all the time – a stone-cold sober raving lunatic!”
The entire episode was so harrowing that police initially wanted to charge him with GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm), but perhaps out of fear, none of the men wanted to lay charges against Lenny. Eventually, police let him go without a charge, with one policeman noting that it would be hard to prove one man did all that damage to 18 other people.
It was this reputation that lead to Lenny being given a starring role in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 gangster comedy film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Lenny died in 1998, but his legend still lives on in the UK, and in the broken jaws of the 18 men he taught a lesson in manners one night.
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