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Watch My Back

Watch My Back by Geoff Thompson
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This is Geoff Thompson's finest book to date. Watch My Back is the story of one man’s search for courage. Depressed, bullied, intimidated by life and indoctrinated to believe that this was his lot, Geoff Thompson, on the verge of a breakdown, decided to fight back. In a bid to confront his fears, he took a job as a bouncer in one of Britain’s roughest nightclubs. His life was never to be the same again. Over the next ten years, and after being involved in hundreds of brutal and bloody fights that left two of his friends murdered and many more in prison, the bullied 11 stone youth turned himself into a fearsome fighting machine with an unparalleled reputation as a knockout specialist. Seduced by beautiful women, attacked by maniacs with knives, guns (and a pair of garden shears), chased and locked up by the police and sought after by top establishments to ‘clean up’ their clubs, Geoff reached the top of his trade and became addicted to violence. Then it all changed. After being stabbed, glassed and nearly killed in a gang attack, and almost killing one of his attackers in a savage car park match-fight, he was forced to reassess his relationship with violence. After writing down his experiences in an effort to exorcise his demons, Geoff discovered a flair for writing. Within a few short years his work found a cult following all over the world. This is the story of an ordinary man who faced his fears and took himself from bedsit to bestseller but very nearly got killed on the way.
Summersdale Publishers Ltd.; Read online
Title: Watch My Back
Author: Geoff Thompson
. . . he’d underestimated me. I would make sure he paid for his mistake. Whenever anyone underestimates me I always know the fight is mine. Their weakness makes them unprepared and gives me a window for the first shot. I train for the first shot – it’s all I need. He was still holding the bottle of champagne by the neck. I made a mental note – I didn’t want to be wearing it, it just wasn’t my colour. We stood close together as I talked, too close really, so I tucked my chin down as a defence against a possible head butt, forcing me to roll my eyes upwards to see his face. I got right to the point. ‘Look, I’ve never met you before and you come into my club when I’m working and talk to me like I’m a piece of shit. If you do it again we’re gonna be fighting.’ He was square on and badly positioned to launch an attack. ‘Oh yeah,’ he said, lining me up. ‘Sure.’ He moved his left leg slightly back and prepared me for the champagne supernova. But he was a fucking amateur and hid his line-up badly. I noticed immediately, it stood out like a hard-on. It might have worked on the part timers, the lads that liked a fight at the weekend, but I was a veteran in these matters: seven days a week, it was my job to notice when maniacs were trying to hit me with a bottle. I had maybe two seconds in which to make my move before he made his. No decisions to be made, too late for that. Hesitation is the biggest killer in nightclub fighting. The decision had been made for me ten minutes earlier when he told me that I sucked cocks, it was just a matter of putting my game plan into action. Not too detailed a plan, no complications, no equations, no grapple with morality or peer pressure, just bang him. That’s it. All this bollocks about karate or kung-fu, about this range or that range, bridging the gap, setting up, weakening them with a kick – there’s no need, just hit the fuckers . . . very hard! Time was tight and a single mistake could mean drip-food or worse. I played the game right back and simultaneously moved my right leg, giving myself a small, compact forty-five degree stance, hiding the movement with, ‘That’s all I’m saying.’ Bang! A right cross, slightly hooked, hit just above his jawbone as his left hand lifted the champagne bottle towards me. The contact was high so he didn’t go right out. Sometimes that’s how it works, when the adrenalin is racing, targeting is often off, and you only have to be millimetres out to miss the KO. It did catch him hard though; he reeled back like he’d been run-over. His body hit a forty-five degree angle going backwards and for a second I thought he was in sleepsville, but no, he back-peddled rapidly, trying to regain his composure. He was a hardy fucker. Usually when you hit them that hard they have themselves a little hibernation. Not this fella. He tried to stay up and fight but it was too late, he was mine. Like I said, I only need one shot. I followed with a rapid-fire five-punch combination, slicing open both eyebrows and breaking his nose. Oozes of blood flicked through the air and splattered my white shirt. And me with no condom, too. He covered his bloodied face trying to capture what was left of his nose. As he cowered over I grabbed his white, stained shirt by the shoulders and pulled him face first into the carpet – he was gone. His sugar pedestal melted all around him by the rain of my attack. He kept his face covered, so I axe-kicked his back, many times. Too many. He was a big man to take over, but I had no intentions of letting him back up again, not this night. Kevin, who had been close by watching my back, stepped in and stopped me. A small crowd of onlookers had gathered. They whispered excitedly. I liked this bit, especially at a new club. Suddenly I was not the soft ‘what’s he doing here’ doorman they all mistook me for. I was a man to be feared. I felt good about the adulation, the back-pats and the line of free Buds on the bar like winner cups. I felt good as the endorphins raced around my blood in a celebratory lap of honour. I felt good that I had survived. The blood on my shirt was my badge; I was proud to wear it for the rest of the night. Deep down though, right in the very bowels of my mind, there was an aching realisation that with every blow I threw in anger and fear I was becoming more and more like the bastard on the floor in front of me swimming in his own blood and snot. Mr T’s girlfriend was running around him like a headless chicken. Collecting her man’s blood and what was left of his face in a small cotton hanky that seemed inadequate amidst such mayhem, screaming at me, shouting at the other doorman, wailing for an ambulance and the police: it was all so undignified. I didn’t give a monkey’s fuck. I was on a high. The worm had turned – control of my fear was my greatest ally, his overconfidence my greatest asset. He’d trodden on a small, insignificant mound of earth and was blown to pieces. It was a fucking landmine. He should have known.
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