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Two doormen have shared their experiences of working as venue security, comparing the scariest fights they've ever had to deal with in situations where it could have easily ended in their death.
For the latest episode of The Gap, we sat veteran bouncer Paul Wilde, 50, down with relative newbie Jozef Hurst, 23.
Paul, who was drafted in to the industry by his dad at 17, said he's encountered 'plenty' of fights that made him fear for his life.
The biggest fight he's ever had to break up, however, took place in a 'well-known venue in Blackpool'.
He told Jozef: "I wasn't actually working the door there - I was out in what they call 'The Battle Bus'; we go round the venues checking on the lads.
"I walked through the doors and it was mayhem, absolute mayhem. I've never seen anything like it in my life."
Paul recalled how the whole dance floor of the 'massive capacity' venue was fighting, with a group of around 32 or 33 'bodybuilders out on the p***' lining themselves up at the bottom end of the room, looking up towards the door staff.
He continued: "I think that was one of the times where I did feel a bit of fear there, you know, 'This is not gonna go well'.
"We were outnumbered, and we all just ran at each other. There was no trying to get anybody out, it was a pure fight."
"[...] When it was done, there were several of their men on the deck, but there were several of our lads on the deck as well.
"You look back at it and think 'I might not have walked away from that. Do I want to carry on doing this job?'"
Josef told Paul about a time early into his career when he and three others were patrolling the town centre, responding to pub crawls in the area.
He said: "Out of nowhere, about 15 blokes run in - some of them were topless-in the middle of a street by a zebra crossing, just swinging seven bells of s*** at each other.
"I remember seeing this one lad get thrown to the floor quite close to us, and this guy starts stamping on his head. It was vicious. They wanted to do harm.
"I then came up face-to-face with this guy and bear-hugged him. I looked to my right and honestly probably the distance between me and you - he pulled out this gun from his waist band and pulled it up, and I froze at that point.
"For some reason this guy dropped his gun - I don't know if he fumbled with it on the draw, or someone had pushed him or what - and this gun had landed on my foot."
Josef said he bent down and grabbed the firearm, placing his thumb below the trigger guard and his hand over the barrel.
He continued: "I turned round and the street had emptied. There was no one there apart from my three colleagues in their orange hi-vises laying flat on the deck.
"I couldn't say anything, I didn't think to get on the radio. I was just frozen with fear. I couldn't believe I had this gun in my hand. I've never been more scared than that in my life."
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