Lenny Mclean was a legendary bouncer and bare knuckle fighter who also starred in Guy Ritchie's classic film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Lenny Mclean, the greatest bare-knuckle street fighter of them all. He was the absolute King Of The Cobbles. Whatever he was known as he was truly The Guvnor.
Born in Hoxton, right in the middle of the east-end, Lenny had a good upbringing until his father died when he was young. Lenny would then have to endure years of abuse from his step-father Jim. By the age of 10, Lenny had his jaw broken twice and many broken bones. Lenny would bottle up the abuse for years and then he would one day unleash this rage on his opponents, in the ring or on the cobbles. Lenny would pick up little jobs like potato picking, scrap, etc. By the time he was fifteen he had been sacked from his first proper job after beating up his foreman. At 19 he met Val, a year later they were married. After starting bare-knuckle fighting, Lenny realised he could make a living out of it. Fight after fight, Lenny wouldn't lose.
A couple of years later, Lenny would try his hand at the unlicensed boxing game. It wasn't until 1978 that Lenny would prove he was The Guvnor. It was his series of fights with 'The Mean Machine' Roy Shaw that became legendary. With Roy winning the first fight, Lenny picking up the second, this fight was the decider. It was at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park that Lenny would become the new Guvnor with a first round stoppage of Roy Shaw.
Lenny along the way would take on Irish bare-knuckle Heavyweight Sean Mcafferty, stopping him in the first round. The in 1986, Lenny would go on to fight Brian "Mad Gypsy" Bradshaw (Undefeated at the time). A head butt before the bell was the worst thing Bradshaw could have done, Lenny would put him away in seconds with such ferociousness that's never been seen in a ring since. He would then fly out to fight one of New York's finest fighters, Big John McCormack. He picked up a nice little wage and two broken hands as well. Challenges which were given out to boxers like ex pro Heavyweight Danny McCalinden and unlicensed fighter Harry Starbuck came unanswered. As well as a challenge to The A Teams Mr T, who had just picked up the title "King of the Bouncers" in New York. A offer of £20,000 to fight in London was turned down by T. Lenny would then come out of semi-retirement to fight Man Mountain York. This was another first round stoppage.
He would have the occasional bare-knuckle fight but after that Lenny would put his name to other things, such as Pub minding, debt collecting (even teaming up with Dave Courtney on a few jobs), minder to the stars, etc. He would also do jobs for various celebs like Boy George and Freddie Starr. He would then work some of London's toughest clubs. It was in 1992 while working at the Hippodrome club that Lenny would get arrested for assault. He was later cleared on the charge of manslaughter but was sentenced to serve 18 months for ABH.
Throughout his life, Lenny has been shot twice, once in the arse, stabbed in the leg, broken nose four times and broken hands fifteen times. It was then, whilst visiting Reggie Kray, that Lenny would bump into Mike Read who suggested an acting career. After doing a few BT commercials, he landed the role as Eddie Davies in ITV's Customs drama "The Knock". Then onto little parts in such films as "The Fifth Element", "The Krays" and then onto his most acclaimed role in "Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels" playing the part of Barrie The Baptist. It was upon filming this that Lenny was struck ill. What he thought was a dose of the flu, would turn out to be Cancer of the brain. It was during this time that his autobiography was being written by Peter Gerrard.
It was then in July 1998 that Lenny sadly passed away. This was the one fight he could not win. His autobiography "The Guvnor" had first week book sales of 25,000 shooting straight into the number one position. Even today it has sold 300,000 copies and is still in the top 30. The new book " The Guvnor - A Tribute" has shot straight into the top 30 and is climbing as I write this. Even now with the technology of the internet, people are starting to talk about Lenny worldwide. I truly believe this legend's stories will go on for years.
All I can say is, he was simply "The Guvnor".
Lenny Mclean in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels