November 6, 2020 4.55 pm This story is over 13 months old

Vinnie Jones to play Lincoln man in new ‘Footsoldier’ film

Bernard moved to Lincoln after his friends were executed

The former dark past of a man who now lives in Lincoln will feature in a new film coming out next year, with Vinnie Jones playing him on screen.

The former footballer will play Bernard O’Mahoney in crime drama film Rise of The Footsoldier: Origins, the fifth instalment of the franchise that first launched in 2007.

Bernard said the film is about the origins of the gang, dubbed by the media as The Essex Boys after the famous Rettendon murders. The gang originally had Bernard and Tony Tucker before Patrick Tate and Craig Rolfe joined later.

Tucker, Tate and Rolfe, who were described as drug dealers, were shot dead in a Range Rover down a small farm track in the village of Rettendon in Essex in 1995, prompting a major police investigation known as Operation Century.

Jack Whomes and Michael Steele were jailed for life in 1998 for the execution of the three men.

Bernard told The Lincolnite he was the first person arrested over the incident as he had fallen out with the trio due to their involvement with drugs, but “it was nothing to do with him”. He was then questioned and released.

The incident and subsequent investigation has been the subject of many books and feature films.

It is understood the latest instalment of the British gangster series will be released in spring 2021 and Bernard himself will also make a cameo appearance.

Bernard with his ‘Essex Boys’ business partner Tony Tucker, who was murdered in 1995.

Bernard as security for Elton John in the 1980s.

Bernard in 1995 outside the Raquels nightclub Basildon.

Bernard told The Lincolnite: “In my former dark past I was involved in security at raves in East London and had a business partner called Tony Tucker who previously was heavily involved in drugs.

“We ran a club in Basildon called Raquels that became known as the most violent club in Europe, where I previously worked as security.

“We got rid of the troublemakers, but promoters started to put raves on and with raves came drugs, which Tony got involved with again.

“Policeman’s daughter Leah Betts died after taking ecstasy at the club, then six weeks later Tony Tucker and two other lads that we were friends with were shot dead.

“I don’t like films that glamorise crime, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, so I assist with them as people keep watching them, so they will continue to be made.

“Earlier this year I was contacted by Carnaby International so I assisted them with some of the background and they showed the script to Vinnie Jones.”

Bernard has worked as security for a long list of well known names including Mick Taylor from the Rolling Stones.

Bernard met Vinnie earlier this week and added: “It was good meeting him and a little strange watching him play me. He’s a really down to earth guy, very funny and a pleasure to be around.

“I’ve been talked into doing a cameo scene with him, in the background as a doorman but not a speaking role. It is the first time I’ve been in one of the films.

“Vinnie also kindly made an appeal for my son Paddy’s school – Nocton Primary School.” Watch it here.

Bernard was born in Bedfordshire and lived there until he was five. After leaving the army in 1982 he drifted into the security industry and lived in Essex until 1995 after his friends were murdered.

He also lived in South Africa for a while before moving to Market Deeping, where he lived between 1998 and 2004, during which time he met his wife Roshea.

Bernard and the Krays henchman Freddie Foreman.

Bernard and his wife Roshea after he was featured in Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men.

The couple moved to Newcastle for two years and she fell pregnant with their son Paddy.

They decided the perfect place to bring up a child was in Lincolnshire so they moved to Lincoln in 2006, where Bernard has been living ever since.

Bernard’s newest book ‘Salford Lads.

One of Bernard’s 15 books.

Bernard has also written around 15 books, the most recent one called ‘Salford Lads’ about the life and death of Paul Massey that was released in this month. Some of his books are about his life and people he has met, as well as others about true crime.

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