Milo Books
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Godfathers and Rogues

Liverpool’s nightlife took off in the 1960s, fuelled by growing affluence and the music of Merseybeat. It was led by a generation of ambitious men who heard opportunity knocking, tough entrepreneurs who became the ‘godfathers’ of the city’s clubland. They included scene-setters Roy Adams and Tommy Barton, world bodybuilding champion Terry Phillips, Armed Forces boxing champion John H Conlan and Commonwealth wrestler Tony Buck, along with audacious men such as Frank Sharrocks and Alan Williams.

At the same time, the city was plagued by rogues, violent families and gangs who thought they could do as they pleased and go where they wanted and who came into conflict with the new club owners and their own hired muscle. Throw into the mix corrupt cops who expected free drinks and backhanders and the night-time scene became a powder keg.

Into this volatile world stepped Peter Stockley, a young man with a hard upbringing in the city’s Kirkdale area. Though small in stature, Stockley had honed his strength through manual labour around the docks and warehouses and was unafraid of the challenges of working as a doorman. He progressed to managing clubs and eventually owned two of his own, surviving many violent encounters along the way.

‘Godfathers and Rogues’ is the first volume of his recollections of this unique time, from his start on the club doors to his seven-year jail sentence for firing a shotgun at a car he thought was coming to run him down. He tells of the many warm and witty characters he met, as well as the lowlife criminals and wannabes who followed the leading gangsters and did their dirty work. And he describes how, eventually, drugs crept in, along with the barons who dominated that world. His story is a unique insight into the hidden side of Britain’s toughest city.

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