How ‘UK’s hardest man’ Lenny McLean beat up 18-man gang and hurt them so badly he faced GBH charge | The Sun

A FIGHTER known as the UK’s hardest man once beat up a gang of 18 men – and hurt them so badly he was the one facing a GBH charge.

Bareknuckle boxer Lenny McLean gained his infamous reputation having taken part in thousands of fights, mixing with the criminal underworld and acting as a no-nonsense doorman.

He showed just why he had such an intimidating reputation while working the door at the Barbican club in London’s Smithfield Market.

The hosts of the Let Them Fight: A Comedy History Podcast, Jacob Trimmer and Tim Groeschel, looked back on the fateful night when an 18-strong stag party was drinking at the bar and started misbehaving.

The hosts said: “They’d been drinking all night but suddenly they didn’t like the prices, when the girl behind the bar asked them for £38 – not bad for 18 drinks – they told her to f**k off.”

The group of lads continued to verbally abuse the barmaid and soon enough she was in tears.

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Lenny then thought it was time they left and told them: “OK, you’re all drunk, there’s 18 of you, and you’re very brave. You want to fight, we’ll go outside…”

As the group were headed for the door they started to arm themselves with whatever they could lay their hands on – glasses, bottles, ashtrays – and slipped them into their pockets.

On his way out, Lenny asked the owner, Dennis McCarthy, if he was going to help deal with the mob.

Dennis, though, just replied: “I’ll pay you for this,” and locked the door behind them.

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Lenny then got to work dealing with the stag party.

He recalled in his autobiography The Guv'nor: “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, Lenny had knocked nine of them to floor and the cops arrested everyone they could see.

Five of the group needed to be taken to hospital for treatment.

The remainder of the party and Lenny were locked up in Snow Hill nick where the stags started sobering up.

Lenny then started yelling at them through the slit in his cell door.

He shouted: “You gutless b*****ds! You f**king mugs, you’re all like little lambs now.

“Look at me. You’re not seeing me with drink inside me: I’m like this all the time – a stone cold sober raving lunatic!”

A policeman told Lenny he would be prosecuted for GBH, as some of the men in the party had received broken jaws, while another had five ribs broken.

Unfortunately for Lenny though that wasn’t what transpired.

He was told three weeks later the charges were going to be dropped.

Lenny recalled: “They said they'd had a note from upstairs saying, 'We do not think it is prudent to use public funds in pursuit of a charge that one man assaulted 18 others.' Of course they wouldn't – it would have looked a bit funny in the papers.”

Lenny’s reputation started in the East End of London in the 1960s and continued for decades.

He claimed in his autobiography that he had been involved in between 2,000 and 3,000 unlicensed fights.

Later in life he moved into acting, gaining praise for playing Barry the Baptist in Guy Ritchie’s gangster comedy flick Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

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He died in 1998 shortly before the film was released.

Previously, he had a part in ITV’s customs drama The Knock.

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