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By Jim Rhodes
For those of you who follow the English football leagues, I don’t need to explain Millwall. For the rest of you, I can only say it’s a League One football club in a gritty East London working class neighborhood. The fans have a well-deserved reputation for extreme violence. Their slogan is “We are Millwall. Nobody likes us. We don’t care.”
My son Chester and I attended a match at the Millwall home field, the Lions Den, a few years back. It was a unique experience. Visiting and home fans are herded into the stadium through separate concrete walkways lined with coils of razor wire, and there are almost as many police as fans in the stands. To walk into a Millwall pub wearing Westham team colors would be to invite a thrashing.
Millwall was in the headlines of all the London papers this week, when one of its fans took on three of the knife-wielding terrorists with his bare fists Saturday night. Roy Larner, 47, was stabbed eight times when he confronted the terrorists in the Black & Blue bar near London Bridge.
Interviewed afterward in his hospital bed, Mr. Larner said the three murderers rushed into the bar shouting “Islam, Islam, Islam” and “Allah is here.”
He shouted back at them, “F*** you, I’m Millwall,” and attacked them swinging his fists as they slashed at him with their knives.
“I thought to myself, I need to take the p*** out of those b******s,” he said.
His actions saved countless lives as others in the crowded bar managed to escape out the back.
Despite his serious wounds, he managed to herd the terrorists out of the front door into the street where they were shot dead by the police.
“OK, I got a good hiding from it, but they’re not alive, and I am still.”
His mom, Phyllis Larner, 78, told the press, “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.”
Londoners have started a petition drive on social media to award Mr. Larner the George Cross, the highest award a civilian can receive for bravery.
Who knows? Maybe a knighthood? “Sir Roy” sounds good to me, and no doubt would buy him a few pints at his neighborhood pub in the shadows of the Lions Den.