A former bouncer from Kirk Hallam has been presented with a prestigious award for civilian acts of courage, four years after he stepped in to save a man who had been stabbed in a bar fight.
Sean Moore, 50, received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery at the Derbyshire Constabulary Awards at Pride Park on Tuesday, November 27, having been named by Buckingham Palace earlier this year.
He said: “I’ve no idea how they got to hear about it. To me it was all done and dusted but in July I got a letter from the Cabinet Office to say that the Prime Minister had read about the story and passed it on to the Queen.
“It still hasn’t sunk in really. I’ve never received anything like this before but, then again, in 16 years of working in door security I had never seen a fight like that before either.”
On August 3, 2014, Sean was working at late bar Josephine’s, on the Wardwick in Derby, when an argument began between the two men.
Littleover man Nathan Lee, 23, lunged at the other, 26, with a broken bottle and stabbed him in the back of the neck causing serious injuries.
Sean saw the incident unfold and quickly realised Lee was about to stab his victim again.
Without hesitating, he put himself between the pair, sustaining a blow to his hand that was intended for the victim.
Father of five Sean said: “If you thought about the situation, then you wouldn’t do it. I just jumped in.”
As well as three large wounds to his neck, the victim sustained one to his head and a cut to his face.
Sean said: “I called for police assistance on the radio grabbed the victim and dragged him out through the crowds. It was packed but I knew he would need urgent treatment.
“It was only when I got outside that someone said something about my hand. I looked down and there was a huge hole in it, and it was like a fountain of blood. I was so full of adrenaline that I hadn’t notice it before.”
Nathan Lee was initially charged with attempted murder but eventually admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Sean said: “The doctors and the judge said that I’d saved the victim’s life. When we were both in hospital, I went into see him and he told me that he was terrified to think he would never see his baby son again. That memory has stayed with me.
“My wife got a phone call too, to say that I’d been stabbed and was in hospital. They didn’t give any more details. It makes you think about what could have happened.”
Thoughts of the incident are not the only legacy which Sean has had to live with.
The stab wound to his hand severed several tendons and he is still waiting on his seventh operation, having already had some of his nerves removed up to his elbow.
He said: “It was my left hand, the dominant one, and I haven’t been able to work since. I can use it but my grip’s not great. It feels like pins and needles, or a dead leg.
“The physios at Ilkeston Hospital said it was like working with someone after a stroke. My eight year old daughter can write better than me. I was in hospital last week and have to go back in December to find out what’s next.”
Sean got an award from the Sheriff of Nottingham soon after the injury but the Queen’s Commendation has brought a new level of attention altogether.
He said: “When the list came out I was getting asked to go on BBC Breakfast and Central News but it’s not so easy to drop everything and get to the studio when they want.”
A reluctant television star, perhaps, but not a reluctant hero: “I’d do it again tomorrow. To see the look on the man’s face when he knew he would see his son again, you’d do whatever it takes.”