When you fist start working as a doorman you play an attacking game. You do want to be tested, and prove that you’re worth your salt. You find yourself wanting to earn a reputation as a fighter. Once you have gained that reputation you start playing a defending game. You have to maintain that reputation. The hunter becomes the hunted. Having that reputation works in two ways. There’s a positive and a negative side to this. On one hand, that reputation makes some people think twice about challenging you. On the other hand, it’s like painting a bulls-eye target on your back, because every wannabe hard man would love nothing better than giving you a beating, just for the bragging rights.
On many occasions you would break a up a fight and eject people from the building, and that would be an end to it. …but there were times when there would be an aftermath. Someone wanting to get even, revenge, retaliation. The evening didn’t end when the bar was closed. You could’t afford to switch off and relax. Walking back to your car, you had to stay alert and not drop your guard. You had to remain switched on and focused. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to come back with a one or two friends and hide and wait in some dark alleyway, ready to attack.
WARNING! …THIS BLOG
Having a background in different martial arts won’t make you invincible, and I was fully aware of that. You’re still human at the end of the day. There’s only so much you can do against two, three, or four people who are out for your blood. At one point I started to carry weapons. It wasn’t like I just woke up one morning with the intention of walking around armed to teeth. It happened over a period of time. The environment that I was working in was making me paranoid, and at that point in my life I don’t think my thoughts were rational.
Iv’e seen a lot of bad shit happen. Iv’e seen people pick up a pint glass, hold it in their hand, and smash it into somebody’s face. Imagine that! After something like that the victim needs to go to hospital and have their face stitched back on. Many of them have scars for rest of their life. I know of one guy who was permanently blinded in one eye because he had been “glassed”. I know people who’ve had their noses and ears bitten off during a street fight. This was a very violent reality. Is it any wonder that I carried weapons, and became paranoid? …Can you blame me under the circumstances?
I knew one doorman who had been hit with a knuckle-duster. His jaw was broken. He needed to have his jaw wired and screwed back together. He was in hospital for weeks. On a liquid diet. He lost a ton of weight. He was unable to work the doors for months. I’ll give him credit though, he was back on the door as soon as he was fit and healthy again. Right back in the saddle. Some people are never the same after something like that. …but I gotta give the guy respect for coming back. That really takes some balls!
…and NO! …I will NOT mention any names!!!
I’d keep makeshift weapons in my car, like a hammer, or a crowbar. Sometimes the police would pull me over and search the car for weapons, but they couldn’t do me for for it. Well, there’s no law against owning tools. …What can I say? I forgot to put them back in the house. It’s all well and good for the police to carry batons, CS gas, and tasers, but we weren’t allowed to? Bollocks to that! I decided from very early on that I was NOT going to be a victim!
Whenever possible we would travel to work and park our cars close together, and walk together in two’s or three’s. We would all leave the bar at the same time and walk together. Safety in numbers. One evening when the club had closed I remember walking back to my car with three other doormen, and one of the local scrotes was waiting with a little army of his mates. When people are fueled up with alcohol and have a few mates with them they suddenly get brave. They came looking for trouble, and they got it. I pulled my telescopic baton, and had no issues giving them a good working over. As soon as they saw that we weren’t intimidated the tables turned. They started to have second thoughts. They literally shit their pants and ran away. Job done! Checkmate in one, and game over without laying a finger on them. I could turn my anger, rage, and aggression on like flicking a switch. It was like psychological warfare. Hit them in their minds with the fear of God, and they’ll twice before pulling that shit again.
Did I lose any sleep over incidents like this? …Yes I did, but it wasn’t out of fear, anxiety, remorse, or anything like that. It was because of the adrenaline and the endorphin’s. I could just feel it flood through my entire body. It was like a rush of energy coursing through my veins. It was like a drug. It could take me a good couple of hours to come back down. The next day I would feel drained and exhausted, but I managed to find the energy from somewhere to go to the gym and workout, and work another night on the door.
There was always the taste of danger in the air. The atmosphere. We used to get all sorts of people who would frequent the pub. Like for example, members of the Naughty 40, or N40 as they were also known. A proper nasty firm of football hooligans – for want of a better word. They never caused any trouble. You showed them respect – they show you respect.
The same with members of biker gangs. They were a formidable entity. Dangerous, dangerous people! You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of these individuals, because you would’t want them as your enemy.! …but, again they were never any trouble. …Thank God!
I never saw myself as a thug. I always greeted and treated the punters in the same way as I would like to be treated, and it didn’t go amiss. Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.
The main trouble maker in The Albion was a guy known as “Jaymo”. Jaymo was a business partner, a share-holder of The Albion. The only reason that he invested in the place was so that he had somewhere to go and get pissed. He had been banned from most of the nightclubs and bars in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. He was an annoying, aggravating, childish, spiteful little prick. …and that’s before he had a few pints inside of him! …The number of people who used to go out clubbing around “Castle” who used to come and tell me that Jaymo was going to send his doormen after them – it was unbelievable! I used to reassure them that I had no intention of doing his dirty work for him. It was all bullshit. I advised them to take no notice of the prick. There were times when we would grab him by the scruff of the neck and rag him out of the building. We would literally throw him out of his own pub, because he could start WW3 all by himself. Think about that! The co-owner of the place being kicked out of his own pub, by his own door-staff! …Bannish and Exile the little prick!!!
I had been working there for just a little over two years, and one evening I had enough of him. He arrived at the bar, drunk as a skunk – as usual. …and he’s had another one of his domestics with his missus. He told me not to allow her inside the pub, because she was drunk. …Look who’s talking!!! So, I kept an eye open for her, and when she arrived she was drunk. Very drunk, and very emotional. He had obviously done something to upset her …again! I told her that I wasn’t going to allow her inside. All she wanted was for Jaymo to give her the key to their house so that she could go home. He refused. Then he started being an arsehole as usual. He started dangling the keys in from of her, with a big grin on his face. I thought he was being a knob, and asked him one last time to be reasonable and give her the keys. Again he refused, and continued with more taunting. I just had enough. I let his missus come in and sort the prick out for me. She tried to get the keys out of his hands, but he just clung onto them. Eventually she did manage to get her keys back, but not before she clawed the hell out of him with her finger nails. He looked like a cat had scratched away at his face. Good! …He had it comin’ for a long time!
Instantly, he told me that I was sacked. Unemployed. …but, I had already decided, I was through working there with that prick. I took my tie off, unbuttoned my shirt, and walked up the road to ask some doormen around town for Aider Simpsons phone number. Aider ran a lot of door-firms around Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, and the surrounding areas. He was looking for doormen. I wasn’t out of a job for more than a few minutes.