Football players from one of Nottingham’s notoriously toughest pubs once ordered for a severed pig’s head to be left in the visiting side’s dressing room. Two members from Scots Grey FC, based at the long-gone pub in Main Street, Bulwell, took the intimidating decision ahead of a Sunday League clash back around 2005.
A police officer told the Nottingham Post: “I clearly remember this match down at the Bulwell Hall Farm pitches where they (‘Godfathers of Nottingham gang crime’ Colin and David Gunn) arranged to put a pig’s head in the visiting team’s dressing room. The opposition turned up, and let’s just say they weren’t up for the match from that point.”
Housed in an unassuming building, the Scots Grey pub was well-known for violence and even featured in TV show The Ten Hardest Pubs in Britain.
READ MORE: Plenty of great memories of Bulwell lido
Reminiscing online, one former punter said: “I remember in one game, when Scots Grey looked like losing in the cup, one of their fans drove a car onto the pitch. I used to go in the pub with my uncle, but wouldn’t go near the place on my own’.
The watering hole was also home to a successful boxing club, with its own ring upstairs. Many hundreds of young amateur fighters honed their skills there for generations. The venue created a number of local champion boxers, including Dominic Wilmot in 2008 and Aaron Brenton in 2009.
The pub’s bad reputation stems from the many fights held outside the ring. Scraps were often pencilled in after closing time on a Saturday night in the nearby Market Place, with bets placed on the winner as dust-ups aimed to settle old scores.
This went on up until the 1990s, with the crowd forming a ring around the bare-knuckle brawlers who would see the fight through to the knock out. The act of ‘challenging’ – cash offered to any man who can floor the ‘hero’ – and ‘purses’ offered by the baying crowds were a regular addition.
Built in 1884, the Scots Grey pub was later closed down as it was reported to be seen to be ‘too rough to control’. Around 2008 the building was turned into a Caribbean restaurant and renamed The Venue. It is now currently home to a Barnardo’s charity shop.
Despite the pub no longer existing, its Sunday League team continue to play, enjoying a great deal of success in the local league, where they have won all three senior trophies in Nottinghamshire for two years running.
Love nostalgia? Have the best articles emailed to you for free with our nostalgia newsletter. Click here to see all Nottinghamshire Live’s newsletters.