Dave Courtney is known by millions in the United Kingdom as a lovable rogue, presenting almost a caricature of what an East End gangster would once have looked and acted like. He is often accused of being fake, including by some gangsters including the late Frankie Fraser, and it is said that he puts on an act and over exaggerates both his crimes and his connections in order to sell books and other merchandise.
Bermondsey Boy is an old 1991 TV documentary about Courtney, at the time he was working as a gangland enforcer, bouncer and debt collector (and allegedly hitman). It shows him as he was before he became famous, and proves that he was involved in the underworld to at least some degree like he now claims, he is said to have been the inspiration behind the character played by Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Also featuring in the film is legendary bare knuckle boxing champion Lenny McLean. In 2013 Courtney’s stepson was murdered by his own uncle in a gangland execution.