I was KOd by "UKs hardest man" so vowed revenge – but soon regretted it

Clubland legend Lenny McLean was often described as ‘Britain’s Hardest Man,’ and one story from a reformed villain certainly supports that description.

Terry told how bouncer Lenny punched him in London's Camden Palace – now called Koko.

Terry, then a hot-headed teenager, vowed revenge. He returned a few weeks later armed with a secret weapon that he was sure would take Lenny and his fellow-bouncers down.

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It almost worked, but then the fearsome bareknuckle fighter emerged from a cloud of acrid gas to dish out yet another of his punishing haymakers.

“I was about 17 years old, and I was at the Camden Palace in London,” Terry told podcaster Matt Legg.

A fight broke out, with the teenage tearaway at its centre. One of the club’s bouncers, Benny Gay, grabbed young Terry and pinned his arms behind his back.

He continued: “All of a sudden Lenny McLean walked past and and went ‘whack’ – he always used to have this glove on – and he knocked my f***ing front tooth out. I was a dit dazed, and I got kicked out.”

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“But I was with a little firm of us who used to knock about in Camden Town. And we said ‘what we’ll do, we’ll go back up there in about three weeks time and we’ll teach the f***ing old c*** a lesson’.”

It didn’t quite go to plan. Knowing he wasn’t big enough to go to-to-toe with the 6’3” 20-stone "unofficial heavyweight champion of Great Britain” Terry took along an equaliser – a can of CS gas.

He recalled: “A normal tin of spray gas, that spreads at about 10 feet, but I had big one I got from France and it spread about 30ft. It was strong stuff.”

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Terry caught sight of Lenny outside the club with a handful of his fellow-doormen.

“So I walked across the road and I sprayed all of them, and all the bouncers went down on the floor,” he added.

“But then Lenny came through the f***ing smoke and went ‘whack’… he whacked me three or four times…

“I fell back, and thought ‘f*** this,’ and I was off!”

Terry – who spent half of his adult life behind bars before finding a new life as an author and campaigner – says “that’s my claim to fame; being knocked out by Lenny McLean”.

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