A soccer fan from south London is being hailed as a hero for reportedly taking on three London Bridge attackers who burst into the restaurant where he was having dinner on Saturday night.
Armed with nothing more than his bare fists, 47-year-old Roy Larner jumped into the fray, raining punches down on the knife-wielding terrorists who had mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge just minutes before.
Larner, who was seriously wounded in the fight, reacted instantly when the terrorists entered the Black and Blue steakhouse shouting “Islam, Islam!” and “This is for Allah!” His surprise counterattack gave dozens of other patrons the chance to escape, reports The Sun.
“Like an idiot,” Larner described his reaction to the terrorists. “I shouted back at them. I thought, ‘I need to take the p*** out of these b******s.'”
“I took a few steps towards them and said, ‘F*** you, I’m Millwall,'” he said, referring to the London soccer club he supports. “So they started attacking me.”
Larner’s bravery has made him a social media sensation, and a petition is circulating for U.K. officials to award him the George Cross medal, which is given to British Commonwealth citizens for acts of heroism or “conspicuous courage” in the face of extreme danger. Fans have bestowed him with the title “The Lion of London Bridge,” a reference to Millwall Football Club’s nickname the Lions.
After the terrorists fled the restaurant, Larner was taken to the intensive care ward of St Thomas’ Hospital for treatment of knife wounds all over his body, reports The Independent.
“It was just me, trying to grab them with my bare hands and hold on. I was swinging,” Larner recounted. “I got stabbed and sliced eight times. They got me in my head, chest and both hands. There was blood everywhere.”
Larner’s relish to fight off the terrorists is perhaps not a surprise, given the local reputation of Millwall fans. Supporters of the south London club have long prided themselves on their refusal to run away from a fight and embrace their bare-knuckled reputation with the chant: “No-one likes us, we don’t care.”
For the ‘Lion of London Bridge,’ wading into a fight where he was outnumered three-to-one against armed attackers was an easy call.
“I can handle myself. But I was out with an old person and it was out of order,” he said of the terrorists’ intrusion into the restaurant.
“I didn’t think of my safety at the time,” Larner added. “I’d had four or five pints — nothing major.”
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