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Charlie Bronson

Charlie Bronson By Tony Moran

Although 5 years old now this is a great account of Charlie By Tony Moran
 
Charlie BronsonMy name is Tony Moran, a former professional boxer, who now competes as an MMA fighter. During my time as a boxer I was included in a Biographical account of boxers lives & careers, in a book titled MerseyFighters2. At the book launch I met a man named John Griffiths, a devoted boxing fan, reconnecting with him, a couple of years ago on Facebook.
 
Early in 2012, John messaged me to say he had been to visit his long time friend Charlie Bronson and my name had come up in conversation. Charlie admires any fighter who shows heart and a die hard spirit, he had seen some of my fights on TV in prison, he asked John to give me his regards, telling me I fight with the heart of a Lion.
 
I had read about CB, seen the film that Tom Hardy plays him in, but in all honesty knew little of the facts, other than that it was obvious, he was a man made of very stern stuff indeed. Understanding that in a man's world he commanded a very high level of respect, for not only his proven physical capabilities, but even more for his strength of mind & spirit, so as a fighting man myself, these compliments meant much to me.
 
Even so, and given his label by many, as the most dangerous & most violent prisoner in Britain, giving manly respect, is different thing to me, than giving personal respect. So not really knowing CB as a person and not being sure of his background or reason for being in prison, I did a lot of reading about him and his case.
 
What quickly became apparent was that CB was not a killer of innocents, a rapist or paedophile. In fact he had no time for any of these types and any chance he got, he made life in prison difficult for these sub-humans. He was also a man of honesty, intelligence, humour and benevolence, who despite his past as No.1 enemy to the prison system, had spent many years without causing a problem.
 
Charlie, quite quickly went up in my estimations as both a man & person I could have respect for in equal measure, so I sent CB a copy of MerseyFighters2 and some of my boxing press cuttings, in return CB sent me a unique piece of his famous artwork and we then started to correspond regularly by letter.
 
We have built up a healthy mutual respect over the months, and as obviously surreal as it seemed at first, to be building a friendship with Charlie Bronson. I don't seek, or base relationships with others on reflection of their fame or other shallow elements, valuing any human interaction for what it is.
 Charlie Bronson
So the personal reflection that follows, of my visit to see Charlie a few days ago, is not a glory story, it is written with Charlies permission, in the knowledge that the more support he can attract to his case, the better his chance of freedom, which after 39 years is long overdue.
 
Arrived with John Griffiths at Wakefiled Prison. John being the friend of CB's that had put us in touch after CB told John he admired my fighting style & die hard spirit in some of my boxing fights he had seen.
As CB is in the highest security category for prisoners, he is kept in a block called 'The Cages', which is reached by going through a number of security checks/doors and across an open yard, before entering the block.
 
As we walked across the yard and entered this block, we were met by Charlie, singing at the top of his voice 'There's only 1 Tony Moran'. A surreal, but proper welcome to Monster Mansion (CB's name for the block) that houses a selection of the most dangerous prisoners in Britain.
 
John and I were led into a room that had chairs in front of a set of bars, with Charlie sat the opposite side, sporting his trademark tache and round tinted spectacles.
 
I was welcomed warmly with a firm handshake through the bars, and so began a 2 hour visit, with a man who has sat in those type of surroundings and much worse for 39 years, 35 of those in solitary.
 
I don't see the man on a day to day basis, so I have no idea if he has mood changes, I'm sure he does. But his mood on this day was the one of a happy, exuberant, larger than life man, full of charisma & character, the like you would find hard to top.
 
The best way I can explain this, is by saying that for those 2 hours, the walls, bars or surroundings did not register in my awareness, such was the force of his nature.
 
Charlie is in great physical condition for a man of his years and having endured what he has for so long, in such confined spaces. He looks powerful, strong and has the aura of a man who knows himself and what he is made of.
 
Charlie BronsonWhen he took off his glasses, his eyes backed up his physical presence, hard & steely, but full of life and animation, eyes you can only earn through experiences of a certain kind.
 
We laughed, shared stories and had quality, honest conversation about life and the nature of people, which Charlie had unique views on, that only 39 years of prison experience could give you.
 
CB does not see himself as a victim, says he accepts his punishment like the man he is and has no regrets. Just wants to spend his twilight years a free man is all.
 
Telling me about his attempts to straighten the minds of new, younger prisoners worth his time, I asked him what he would tell the young version of himself, given the chance. He told me that he would advise his younger self to count to ten and think about the consequences of his actions before carrying them out.
He ain't a killer, he ain't a rapist and he ain't a nonce and he's never harmed an innocent member of the public in a violent way. He has no doubt scared a few with menacing presence, when taking hostages in prison, but no matter what your views on that, it does not warrant the prolonged punishment, no matter how you want to spin it.
 
Charlie's actions and his unwillingness to toe the line whilst in prison was initially down to his refusal to be dehumanised, or become just another number, or victim of a system, that when he first entered, was much tougher on its inmates, than it is today.
 
So agree with his actions or not, you cannot fail to be impressed with the man's inner strength and toughness, facing years of extreme tests, of both his sanity and character and still be the larger than life man that he is.
 
I'm no sycophant, but to keep a man of his energy and spirit caged up any longer, when the only reason for keeping him there, is because of the people in high positions he has pissed off, is a crime of its own.
 
Charlie has many friends, supporters and a solid family, behind him all the way. The more public attention he can attract to his case though, can only enhance his chances. Please see the links to his websites below if you wish to learn more and get more involved:
 
This article was written by Tony Moran. I would like to thank Tony for giving us this article and wish him luck in his up and coming fight. And we will shortly be releasing an interview with Tony on his fight career
 
Please visit the Charlie Bronson website
 
Contact Tony on facebook
 
To sign the petition to release Charlie
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