Friday, June 23, 2017
Lion of London Bridge should receive award for his bravery, say Millwall...

Lion of London Bridge should receive award for his bravery, say Millwall footballers

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Left: Millwall striker Aiden O’Brien, left, with Roy Larner
Left: Millwall striker Aiden O’Brien, left, with Roy Larner

The Millwall fan dubbed “The Lion of London Bridge” has been hailed a hero by everyone from Crystal Palace fan and Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid to opposition fans.

Roy Larner, who revealed on breakfast TV that he is homeless and unemployed, was in the Black and Blue restaurant in Borough Market when he was caught up in the London Bridge terrorist incident on June 3.

The 47-year-old, who was stabbed eight times after he confronted the attackers, has been visited by two Lions stars and had another support the campaign to have him honoured for bravery. League One play-off final winners Aiden O’Brien and Mahlon Romeo dropped in on him in hospital with O’Brien tweeting: “What a hero! Honoured to have met you.”

Former Lions academy star Tobi Alabi, who had to give up the game because of a heart defect when he was 21, arranged the visit.

He said: “Roy told us his story of what had happened. It was so inspirational and so shocking to hear about what went down that evening. Me, Aiden and Mahlon were just listening in awe. He should get a medal. Who knows how many lives he saved? “He showed us the scars on his body and his neck. But he was so chilled about it. And he is still very optimistic about the future.

“I just felt compelled to go and see him. I know what it is like when something totally unexpected happens which affects your livelihood. With him being such a big Millwall fan, I thought it would give him a lift to have some players visit, and Aiden and Mahlon were very pleased to meet him.”

Former Lions keeper Tony Warner also supported a get-together at M Manze’s Pie and Mash shop in Bermondsey to focus a campaign for Larner to be given the George Cross for his bravery in tackling the London Bridge terrorists.

“I was contacted by one of the organisers who is just trying to get a bit of wind in the sails of their campaign,” said Warner.

“All I’ve done is try to get the word out. I hope they are successful.” Unemployed, homeless Larner took on all three attackers and is now hoping for a job as a bodyguard. He was living on a friend’s sofa at the time he was caught up in the attack.

Players Marc Bircham and Tony Warner with Roy Larner, right, after the Lions won promotion from the old Second Division to the First Division in April 2001 with a 1-1 draw at Wrexham
Players Marc Bircham and Tony Warner with Roy Larner, right, after the Lions won promotion from the old Second Division to the First Division in April 2001 with a 1-1 draw at Wrexham

Larner told Good Morning Britain: “When I’ve looked round there’s three blokes there, someone is trying to block the doors and everyone’s running to the back of the restaurant.

“I did not have time to run. One in front of me pulled out a knife, or whatever it was, and started shouting about Allah, Islam. I just started trying to fight back.”

The attacker’s two accomplices focused their attention on him, rather than the diners and pubgoers they had been headed towards.

The Millwall fan was taken to hospital in a critical condition with cuts to hands, arms, chest and neck as well as a puncture wound to his side.

He had surgery on Tuesday, hours after telling Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “I’m lucky to be here.” Roy now wants to find a home and a job, with the help of a crowdfunding page that has raised almost £50,000 for him.

He said: “I would like a job. I think I could handle myself now. I would like to work in something like that, bodyguard.”

Chief Reporter | Former news reporter on Daily Mail and Times, former editor in Edinburgh and Barnet. Sports editor and father for 15 years. Once made nine doormats for Harrods entrances. They lasted two years.

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Lion of London Bridge should receive award for his bravery, say Millwall...