Monday, 25 February 2013

Viv Graham

Viv Graham.  The name conjures up different opinions and emotions as to the sort of person he really was.  A number of books were written about him by true crime writer Steve Richards, in which he was sometimes referred to as Tyneside`s "Fourth Emergency Service."  Graham was not a city boy but started his career as a doorman in Newcastle, and quickly built up a reputation as a tough nut.  His reputation spread throughout Tyneside and before long he became embroiled in an incident at Hobo`s Nightclub, with Doorman Stuart Watson.

    Graham was with a number of notorious characters such as the Sayers Brothers, and Graham was apparently used by the crowd he was with, to attack Watson.  The incident is on Youtube. Watson withstood the Graham onslaught without retaliating.  This incident put Graham in prison, and it was whilst in Durham Prison he calmed a riot.  In another incident, he was with a man in a restaurant, when another man walked in with a sawn-off shotgun. Graham took the gun off him and smashed it against the wall.

    Numerous tales have emerged that as a doorman, he stopped many drug pushers operating in the pubs and clubs he covered.  This upset drug suppliers and in turn Graham became a target.  On New Years Eve 1993, he was shot by an unknown assassin.  It was said that there was celebrating in some pubs when word had spread around.  certainly, there would have been cheering from pushers and suppliers as his stand on drugs was keeping money from their pockets.

    A number of alleged suspects have been put forward as either being the shooter or the planner.  It has been claimed that Graham had upset many people, using un-necessary violence solely for the sake of it, and being a bully.  Another claim was that he had crossed a couple of crime families from South Shields.  Twenty years on, the murder remains unsolved.  In another underworld  feud, a hard man named Lee Duffy was being offered substantial monies and criminal rackets if he took Graham out of the scene.  Duffy made excursions into Newcastle and was hammering Graham`s doormen, in a bid to draw him out.  If they clashed and Duffy came out on top, Graham would have lost all credibility, allowing Duffy and his backers to move in.  It never came off, as Duffy got involved in a deadly fight with a man called Allison and was stabbed to death.  The next big feud was between the Sayers and Conroys.