Roy Larner, 47, who has been hailed as the “Lion of London Bridge” after he single-handedly took on three terrorists with his bare hands, just revealed that he is homeless and think he’s only alive because the killers thought he was dead. Now, the jobless hero could be up for a Gallantry Medal—though, first, he’s having surgery to care of a puncture in his diaphragm.
The big-time Millwall fan from Peckham, South East London was drinking in the Black & Blue bar when the attackers barged in wielding 12-inch knives. He recently reported that he was only in the Borough Market area that night because he was “staying on a friend’s sofa.” Rather than running and hiding, which is advised, Larner rushed the three armed men in a heroic effort to ward them off. All while yelling, “Fuck you, I’m Millwall!”
Larner recounted the event to The Sun: “They had these long knives and started shouting about Allah. Then it was, ‘Islam, Islam, Islam.’ 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. 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.”
He reported that the men continued to “slash and hack away” at him for 20 or 30 seconds and that he’s lucky none of the blows were straight at him or he’d be dead.
“I didn’t think of my safety at the time,” he added. “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. It wasn’t until I was in a police car that I realized I was in a bad way. I’d been sliced up all over.”
Larner was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London in critical condition and had surgery for wounds on his head, fingers and chest. When he was taken off the critical list by doctors on Sunday, his friends got both their mate and their British humor back. Relieved, they presented him with a copy of Runner’s World with the words “LEARN TO RUN” emblazoned across the front.
— Goodfella (@Jimmycn1) June 6, 2017
His friends also set up a JustGiving page for Larner and, at the time of writing this, well-wishers have donated more than $50,000 USD in funds. A petition was also set up pushing that Larner be awarded the George Cross, which is given to civilians who display the ‘greatest heroism or the most conspicuous courage’ in the face of extreme danger.
No, we don’t encourage other people to charge at terrorists with machetes, but we commend this beast of a man for doing so.