Former Newcastle United and Bristol City ace Bradley Orr may have been a rock solid defender, but even he turned to jelly when he was chased by the infamous ‘Swindon Butcher’ in prison.
While playing for City in 2006, Orr was involved in a mass brawl at a Bristol nightclub that eventually led to him being charged with affray alongside City teammates Steve Brooker and David Partridge. After being sentenced to 28 days in Leyhill prison, approximately one year after the fight took place, he endured a terrifying ordeal with a convict serving a 35-year sentence.
Most heated exchanges with serving prisoners are guaranteed to raise pulses rather significantly at the best of times. However, Orr found himself being pursued by a man believed to be Michael Clarke, a felon who was known as 'The Swindon Butcher', after murdering his own parents.
“There was a gym screw, who worked for the prison but runs the gym, his name was Mark Pullman. He said ‘just do as you're told, listen to me and you'll be fine’,” Orr said to the Under the Cosh podcast.
"He comes to me and says 'do me a favour, go and tell him there on the treadmill he's got five minutes to get dressed, showered and out of here and into the visiting room or else he's going to lose his visit. His mum and dad have been waiting there for two hours for him.'
"I go 'excuse me mate you've got five minutes to get out and into the visiting room or else you're going to lose your visit'. He's like 'what visit?' So I said 'your mum and dad have been there for two hours, you've got to go’. He pushes the emergency stop button on the treadmill and just shouts 'what did you say?!' There's no one else in the gym, I've looked around and Pully's gone.
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“He's walking towards me shouting 'what have you just said?!' He starts running after me, the blood is drained out of me. I'm shouting 'Pully'. It felt like it was a five-minute chase but it was probably 10 seconds.
“Pully comes out and grabs this guy called Clarkey and he says 'Clarkey, I'm only having a laugh take it easy'." Incredibly, this heart pounding experience could have been even more terrifying for Orr.
And that is because he was not aware of the identity of the convict on the treadmill, let alone the heinous crimes he was found guilty of. “Pully said to me 'he's doing 35 years, he'll never get out of here," Orr added.
“I was like 'you're joking aren't you?' He's like 'no, that's the Swindon Butcher.' I was like jelly. He used to get fan mail, he's all over the internet. He's one of the scariest looking creatures you'll ever see and he's chasing me all around this prison gym on day two. It was just a mad experience."
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