Lenny Mc Lean, bareknuckle fighter,criminal, and professional East-end character was often referred to as the hardest man in Britain, more often he was known simply as the Guv’nor, in honor of his top dog reputation as the toughest unlicensed fighter in the business.
McLean’s life makes for hair raising reading. The sheer level of brutality and violence is frankly staggering. Like many East end tough guys McLean lived by a ruthless code. His sense of honor and family was as unequaled as his ferocity.
An associate of the Krays and many other hardcore London criminals, The Gov’nor fought 4,000 unlicensed boxing matches and worked as king bouncer on some of the toughest doors in London.
Many Crimeziners will recognise Lenny Mclean from his role in the Guy Ritchie movie, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, one of the most iconic British crime movies since Michael Caine’s The Italian Job.
Interestingly Lenny McLean worked with notorious London Gangster Dodgy Dave Courtney as a debt collector, a relationship that is mirrored in McLean’s relationship with the Vinnie Jones character in the Lock Stock Film.
The Guv’nor is McLean’s biography and although it is co-written by Journalist Peter Gerrard it retains much of the humor and drama that was such a vital part of Lenny McLean’s larger than life personality. The Guv’nor died of lung cancer in 1998, but his reputation lives on. For Crimeziners who love fast moving true crime and no punches pulled, this book is essential reading