The true story of the Irish giant, whose loyalty to his friends nearly cost him his freedom. from his early days too his last act of violance. this is the account of "Bane", through his own words.
I was born in the summer of '96 in the back of a Dublin taxi, even back then I was big. My mother used to tell me they used a JCB when they could find a midwife strong enough to carry me! but she also told me that I was born angry, a "big red bastard with a frown", I've seen the photos and have to say she's right. we came back to England shortly after.
childhood is somewhat tricky to reflect on, I don't know if it's repression or just not paying attention to the world around me but my memories are scattered and hard to piece together. my earliest is my 3rd birthday, it was at my mothers friends house, she had a garden we could all be out in.
when I was about two my mother and father split up for the second time so growing up it was mainly me and my older brother with my mum, from time to time I'd stay with my dad, but it was my mother who raised me mostly. my brother was ten years older, so it's fair to say I was the annoying prick that kept him awake when I was a baby, so I was treated accordingly as soon as I was old enough to take a punch. from as far back as I remember he was always the good one, the smart, good looking one. he used to race stock cars, wanted to be a pro racer, I used to play with action man. wanted to be a soldier since I was five years old. was a crack shot by the age of seven with my dads old air rifle, who knows, if we'd been closer in age we'd of made a good team. every good criminal needs a get away driver. but sadly, ten years is too long and by the time I found my talent for pain, he was on his way to college for bigger and better things.
I went to a catholic school for "troublesome children" from the age of four, that was a smart move, put me and 200 other kids in one building, each one as violent as the last. wasn't a day went by our caretaker wasn't scrubbing blood off the walls. It's fair to say I left a couple pints of me behind when I left at 11. one of our bully's was a lanky skinhead in his last year, wish I'd taken the time to learn his name. He and I had a couple fights, despite our age differance we were fairly well matched, what he had on me in height I made up for in bulk and wildness. our "displays" were attracting the attention of alot in those walls, the boys wanted us as their friends, and the more friends we had, the more the girls wanted us. I remember my mum being called alot about it. one day our fighting had led to him being taken to hospital, I sat in the head teachers office with my head spinning, the head was a big guy, bigger than me now, he was yelling at me about how the other boy could of died, and that I was a disgrace to my god and family. how right he was, and is. my mum was busy so my dad was called to come get me. I don't know why, but his silance scared me more then any shout, and hurt me more than any punch he could of given me.
My dad met some woman named linda and not long later they lived together, I never had my dad, she always controlled what we did, and between her and my dads football friends, going over there every other weekend just ment sitting in my room watching army shows. my brother hated her too, I found him at their wedding, crying. I was still a kid and didn't really notice it much, but I still remember it. to this day I can't look at a grown man cry.
even today I'm no good at emotions, back then I was even worse, when I was eight I was involved in a air rifle shooting acciddent which left me with a foot injury, there was a girl, zoe, a cute red head, I don't know why but she was always there for me, she was older by about two years, was in the same class as the skinhead, had her own friends, but she always took time to talk to me, check up on me, maybe it was a crush, maybe it was pity. but when I came back to school with my foot in a bandage she found me right away to ask what happened. I saw her one other time after she left that school, I don't know if shes the reason for my current love of red heads, but god damn those girls are fiesty and every time I see a pretty red in the street I'm eight years old and in love all over again.
by the time I left that school I was big for my age, in height and weight, maybe not in the best shape, but thats a family trait, our arms are as big as our guts. my reputaion followed me to secondry school, and there, it counted for shit. this place had magnetic locks on every door, a room for every child, barbed wire fence. looking in you'd of thought it was a prison. and in some ways it was. we all had records by this stage, I'd been caught shoplifting a few months before. they tried keeping everyone in solitary, aside from when we were getting our lesson plans and lunch.
Once again I found myself fighting one guy more than the rest, some chavy ginger kid with a tick causing him to blink with his eyes closed for a decent couple of seconds, that came in handy during our fights. he had a couple of droogs to assist him, whereas myself unlike my first school, kept to myself. not wanting to be friends with those kind of people. they were druggies and woman hitters, I was a thug but at least I respected women.
a couple of years in, I was cueing to get some lunch when a friend of blinkys cut in front of me, a teacher saw it and sent him to the back of the line. at sports that afternoon the boy tripped me and sat on my chest, another boy, some young emo punk pinned my right arm down while blinky stamped on my wrist. I had a buckle fracture and was in a cast for 6 weeks. the next day I came in and used my cast as a very good weapon against the fat bastard that sat on me. blinky got his a week later when he came back into school. It was during this attack that I was confirmed to have a high pain threshold, fuck knows how often that helped me out.
a while later a new girl showed up, another fucking red head. she was older so she was in a different part of the facility to me but we hung out alot in the brief time she stayed. one day I'd taken a football to the "love log" at high speed. she came by after to see how I was, my reply "well the swellings gone down, for now" with a sly wink got me what I fully deserved, a good slap!
But my time at that place wasn't all about injurys. one of my oldest friends, one of the few men I respect "ghost" was as pale as a sheet of paper, and nothing but skin, bones and a trench coat. but he could take a punch and deal them out too. along with another friend of mine, luca, an italian guy with an afro, he left a year after I first arrived but I never forgot him, or how much he helped me control my anger. I saw him the other day, hasn't changed a damn bit.
during my time there I became a fan of west ham united, much to the "joy" of my chelsea supporting father. I met a few other guys in a pub when I was watching the hammers on tv, at half time we went outside for a smoke. there was shouting from down the road but I was focusing on rolling my cigerette. before I knew it a group of gooners (arsenal football hooligans) attacked us, there was about 80 bodies all round me, there was no time for why or who, I attacked anyone who came near me, headbutting and punching. I was on a rush, I was a soldier with my friends, everything seemed brighter as the adranaline kicked in, I was alive. And that's when it all went black. something about being knocked out has always been so ... peaceful, no nightmares I guess. maybe that's why I've never stopped fighting, cos it brings me clarity, peace and respect.
when I woke up I was slumped on the side of the road with a female officer crouched over me and a paramedic trying to get my attention. during the fighting I'd been glassed, and at the stage I passed out, I landed in some glass, leading to scars on my legs and face. I was fourteen.
over the next few years I got more involved with the hooligan fighting, joining West hams firm, the ICF. during my time with them I saw alot of violance. I watched grown men smash into teenagers like they were nothing, and teens swarm each other like vultures, with blades for claws. One time We all met up before dusk in a local park to raid a millwall pub near by as the firm was just winding to the end of a lock in after a victory. we were all tooled up with our choice of weapons, I had my rounders bat tucked into my sleeve, still have it to this day. the air was cold and the only light was phone screens and fag's. we'd been sat around for ages waiting for everyone else to turn up when I heard shouting behind me, there was dull thumps on the ground near us with smashing glass, I realised it was bricks and bottles as a dozen millwall came at us with more still lauching objects at us. at first I tried to fight but everyone started running, so I followed. few the next few years I did security work for the ICF, and other private work.
I left the ICF at the request of someone I love.
when it was time I left school near gradeless but with plenty of scars for my few years and went on to do media studies, followed by a year of public services in preperation for my time in the forces.
During my college time I fell in with a group of neo nazi skinheads, although not a full nazi myself, some of there views were right, and it was one of the few times a guy like me fitted in. Once we were out for the weekend in london, we were sat in a chicken shop getting dinner when a nigger kept looking at us, most of us had at least one nazi symbol on us so I guess we were used to stares, but something about him staring pissed me off, maybe I'd been hanging around nazi's too long. when him staring got on my nerves I began yelling at him, we went outside and I started punching him, I threw him against a bin, when he stood up he had a knife, I pulled the hitler youth knife from my boot and stabbed him, under the rib cage and up, I don't know if I killed him, we left and got a train back home. I sold the knife, to this day I use my hands in a fight, so I can avoid taking a life by accident. I stopped getting involved with the nazi's when I fell in love, not with a red head. but from time to time we help each other out with security work.
shortly after I left college, I found out I was unable to get in to the forces due to a health problem I've had since birth. so I went into buisness with my friend "kronos" and together we imported and sold weapons to gangs, a job that still manages to pull me back as a free lancer from time to time as kronos has since moved away. once we were celebrating a good sale so we walked to a local supermarket at 3am, bought a cake and ate the whole thing in the carpark while dancing to the radio on his phone. the night ended in us beating the shit out of 3 chavs. good times.
anyone still reading at this stage will have figured out a couple things about me, I'm not scared of dying or prison and that whatever happens to me in this world I'll always have the soul to rise to my feet and charge into the breach one last time, sliding through the gates of hell with my back on fire, my knuckles bleeding and howling like a banshee.
sadly, your guess is right. if I die today I leave behind a broken family and few loyal friends. I've attempted suicide before but then, I've come closer in fights where I wasn't really wanting to die. even so I always expect it, and when my time comes, death better bring backup cos I won't die easy, just bloody.
despite this, I do have at least one reason to live... and yes, as clichè as it sounds it's a girl. hope she gets to read this one day and know how much she means to me. I don't know how but you broke down my walls and made me feel humane again. I love you more then I can ever put into words. thank you.
I'm writting this down for alot of reasons, in case of my sudden death, I am unable to remember my past. but mainly as a warning, for my children and anyone else in my situation who doesn't want to visit a child in a cell, or a morgue.
to this day I've remained silent as my friends spread my legend, calling me fearless. well, your wrong. My grand father was a villain, my dad as well, and now you know what I am. so, my final piece of honesty, my biggest fear in life is that my children could turn out being like me.
In memory of: alexis. "m" . jacob. "uncle tommy." "ginger" .