They say that bravery and stupidity are often two sides of the same coin, but this is something else altogether.
In the wake of the extremely terrifying events that transpired on Saturday night at the London Bridge and nearby Borough Market, stories of heroism, bravery, and fight against adversity from ordinary citizens have been emerging; those who rushed to help the injured (some who tragically were hurt or killed in the process), or those who helped keep people in the vicinity calm and safe from the lunatic attackers.
And then there’s this bloke.
When the three attackers entered the Black & Blue Steakhouse and began shouting religiously-charged slogans and epithets, 47-year-old Roy Larner leapt into action not by countering them with messages of peace or calls for calm, but with soccer chants.
Larner told UK publication The Sun that when the three men entered the restaurant and began shouting “Islam! Islam! Islam!” he rose from his chair, took a few steps towards them, and retorted “Fuck you! I’m Millwall!”
Larner, being a devout fan of Millwall FC, is used to the backs-to-the-wall defiance that comes with rival aggressors shouting in your face; the Lions don’t exactly have the best reputation among English football fans, and that’s a fact that fans of the club readily embrace.
So when the attackers began shouting, as Larner explained to the Sun, he took action:
“Like an idiot, I shouted back at them. I thought, ‘I need to take the piss out of these bastards.’ I took a few steps towards them and said, ‘Fuck you, I’m Millwall’. So they started attacking me.”
Larner’s shouting actually drew the attention of all three attackers who slashed at him, severely wounding him in the process. But his (perhaps foolhardy) actions allowed other patrons in the steakhouse time to flee the building via the rear exit, potentially meaning a Millwall chant saved numerous lives.
“I stood in front of them trying to fight them off. Everyone else ran to the back. I was on my own against all three of them, that’s why I got hurt so much. It was just me, trying to grab them with my bare hands and hold on. I was swinging. I got stabbed and sliced eight times. They got me in my head, chest and both hands. There was blood everywhere.”
“They were saying, ‘Islam, Islam!’ I said again, ‘Fuck you, I’m Millwall!’ It was the worst thing I could have done as they carried on attacking me. Luckily, none of the blows were straight at me or I’d be dead.”
Roy is recovering in hospital, and is out of intensive care, after receiving knife wounds to his head, neck, arms, and torso. But his spirits remain typically laconic, and ever since his story has spread some have gone so far as to dub him ‘The Lion of London Bridge.’
Larner’s 78-year-old Mum, for one, isn’t surprised at her son’s behaviour:
“He’s fearless, my son. He’ll give as good as he gets. He’s quite nippy and lippy and wouldn’t back down from a fight. He wouldn’t care who it was or if they had a knife or gun.”
As for what he was actually thinking at the time, Larner reckons he wasn’t *too* deep into a skinful of pints to cloud his judgment terribly, but the whole thing was still not bloody on.
“I didn’t think of my safety at the time. I’d had four or five pints – nothing major. I can handle myself. But I was out with an old person and it was out of order.”
But just because he exhibited hero behaviour and saved the lives of many during a deadly terrorist attack – suffering horrible injuries in the process – doesn’t mean for a second that his mates aren’t taking the opportunity to give him a good old-fashioned gee up.
The nice boys brought him a magazine to read in hospital and all.
— Goodfella (@Jimmycn1) June 6, 2017
Source: The Independent.