Tuesday, 2 July 2013

John "Awesome" Anderson

This man came to a wider audience when martial artist and former doorman Geoff Thompson told his career as a doorman in the wild wild west of the city of Coventry, in the Midlands.  Anderson was the head doorman at an extremely violent nightclub referred to in Thompsons` books as "G`s".  I subsequently discovered the name of the club when one night in my old local, I was talking to a guy from Coventry.  The club was called Godivas, as in the naked lady on horseback.

    John Anderson was not a hulking man but a solidly built man of average height with a very enviable fighting ability.  He taught Thompson all the tricks of the trade;  how to deal with situations, reading people, diplomacy and tact.  But in such a violent environment, he was frequently called upon to take care of volatile situations, and as the head doorman, the buck stopped with him.  Thompson recounts just how tough Anderson was, and his reading of a person, when one night, a huge hulking rugby player started causing trouble and even battered a kid by the bar.  He told two of the doormen to throw him out, but they were a bit intimidated by him, so Anderson knew that it was now down to him.  The rugby player smirked when he saw who was coming to eject him.  As if this smaller guy could handle him!!  Anderson played it a bit wary, tried to take his beer from him but the guy kept turning away, saying that he had to leave, in a slightly scared voice and then tried to take his glass again.  The guy turned away but ran smack into a very short range left hook that lifted him off the floor and removed a number of his teeth.  The guy was out cold, and he was very hefty, so they had to roll him down the stairs and out because he was too much dead weight for them to lift.

    A big problem that doormen encountered in Coventry was when a very large contingent of young men gathered together and caused mayhem.  They were known as the Bell Green Crew as many lived in the Bell Green area.  After trouble between doormen and some of the BGC, they gathered in force to make a return visit.  The call went out to all doormen in Coventry, and many of them turned up to help out.  The BGC had not turned up so Anderson, along with former top Heavyweight Ricky James, and four other very tough doormen, went to the pub where the BGC drank.  The BGC were shocked to see six doormen walk into the centre of the pub, order drinks and sit around a table drinking and chatting and laughing without a care in the world.  When they had finished their drinks, they stood up and walked out.  Nobody moved or said anything to them.  The point had been made.  There was no trouble that night.  What a tough guy!