Mind The Gap – Someone pushed me under a London Underground Train!

If not your worst nightmare, it’s probably one that ranks near the very top of the worst nightmare list but on Friday morning, I got pushed and fell down the gap between a London Underground tube train and the platform.

I’d picked up my lovely tourists at the Grosvenor in Victoria and was on a packed out tube train (though barely worse than any other) sand I had my behind against the back doors. It was cosy but the doors closed first time and I’ve certainly been in more uncomfortable positions and in more crowded train carriages.

The first stop was St James, which is probably the quietest underground station in central London and certainly in the poshest area with you might think to be amongst the most civilised transport users.

blurred motion of train at railroad station

A fast moving London Underground train

The doors were just opening, and as usual, no one was on the platform wanting to get on the train and no-one wanting to get off except for one particular idiot man who was in the seating area and who either left it too late or was just an idiot started shouting that people should get off the train before others get on…. he was so far away he didn’t see there was no one getting on and he had a surly attitude that immediately had everyone looking at him.

He just ploughed his way through the people as if they were inanimate objects and possibly even whilst wearing a satchel over his shoulder which is another definite commuter no-no.

I made sure my tourists were safe and out of the way in the corner and was about to step off onto the platform to give the lout some space when he pushed the people in front of me/me and my right leg fell straight down the gap between the platform and train and as I was facing backwards-sideways, most of the rest of me fell onto the platform and my right leg was caught between the stone platform and the undercarriage of the train and got wedged or stuck at exactly an angle that a leg isn’t meant to bend.



The idiot pushed a number of other people off onto the platform too, over me. I was right at the very back carriage away from the driver and it being St James and so quiet, there were no platform staff. Fortunately two or three men grabbed both my arms and hauled me onto the platform and I helped myself too being aware in about 15 seconds I was about to be cut in half or at least three quarters and was hugely lucky not to have fallen totally out of view and onto the super high voltage rail.

The helpers asked if I was ok as I lay on my side and I said I was (I was alive) and I said I’d like to see the idiot who barged through. He being the one person not to help simply said he hadn’t barged through and made off down the platform as all the commuters off and on the train seemed to think it was entirely his fault and were badmouthing him in a polite English sort of way.

Given that I was working, it didn’t seem appropriate to call the police at the time so I hobbled back into the carriage to the astonishment of my tourists with the doors closing right behind me.  A rather nice lady chatted to me for 10 minutes and was kind enough to help me as I checked to see how badly my leg was bleeding.   Surprisingly there were just slight abrasions though it hurt incredibly.

I then had a 5 hour walking tour to give and even by the time we got off the tube my leg was swollen and bruised.   To be fair my tourists said to quit at any time but as they were a referral so I didn’t want to let them down or the original tourist from 3 years ago,  Though understanding, I now I would be a bit unhappy if my only day in London was sabotaged by a random stranger trying to kill my guide.

My lovely tourists thoroughly enjoyed their tour and we all joked about how next time they would push me harder and how this photo would be the last where Stephen had both his legs.    It hurt a lot all the way round though honestly, I’ve had worst and would recommend it over a chest infection any day of the week. It hurt more going up and down stairs and if they weren’t such nice people I would have probably sneaked off after a few hours.

By mutual consent though I think mostly by their possibly not 100% truthful assertion that they needed to end and find someplace to eat we finish 4.5 hours later.  Maybe they thought if they didn’t stop then I never would.  So then I hobbled over to St Barts Hospital,  which we’d actually walked right by about 2.5 hours earlier!

I was seen very promptly by a nurse who got in a doctor to double check things. I went back into the waiting room to wait for the results and just at the moment, I got dizzy, hot, and began not to see anything at all.  Apparently I was falling into shock which as exasperated by the pain though I actually thought it was possibly the end as several high profile incidents have been publicised in recent years where an apparently innocuous bump on the head has left to bleeding on the brain and an unavoidable death a few hours later.  In fact I even sent 2 or 3  emergency goodbye texts before staggering back into the medical room and slumped onto a chair.

They took my blood pressure which was very low and I heard them saying I was in shock.  I was in the hospital for over 2 hours being treated and observed and when I was feeling better I even gave one doctor a guided historical tour of his hospital from the treatment room.

Brock Lesnar wins!

Brock Lesnar who carried on wrestling with a broken neck without even realising it.

I have a variety of relatively minor injuries, massive swellings, bruises and I felt a weak comparison to Brock Lesnar who carried on wrestling with a broken leg… there can’t be many guides who would carry on walking for 5 hours with a minor fracture, bruised bones and who knows what else.

My tourists texted me late that night and they had hugely enjoyed their tour and thought I should be knighted!   As one of my most famous tour subjects once said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat“.

I have reported the incident to the police and as every train and platform has many security cameras hopefully the culprit will be apprehended.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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26 Responses to Mind The Gap – Someone pushed me under a London Underground Train!

  1. Stephen that is absolutely terrible…what kind of a monster was this guy doing that, perhaps he was out of his mind on drugs or something as this is not what a normal person would do, right? I think you deserve a knighthood as well just continuing on with the tour despite that sort of nonsense happening to you, that you managed to continue on with it was a huge miracle and you should be proud of yourself that you did it…you went above and beyond the call of duty here. I feel sad for you that you had to go through something like that, one person can be enough to make other people’s lives a living hell and this is an example of it, also…the power of one person can make other people’s lives amazing and restore people’s faith in humanity…you are one of the latter my friend. Take care and look after yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank-you ever so much for your lovely comments. And all because some idiot thought he was more important than the other 10 people around him. I did feel at the time that even if I do tours until the day I drop, it would be hard to beat that day. It would be different though a little more understandable if it happened to a soldier or sportswear though the latter would probably make a big deal of it and limp off the field. It just shows that you always be nice to everyone otherwise you’d end up at the other end of the scale with this guy who almost murdered me whether he wanted to or not. I’m having a few weeks working from home now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good on you Stephen, I hope you have someone looking out for you there and taking care of you…just remember that not everybody out there is an arsehole, it can be hard to realise this after you have been through something traumatic like that


      • When things like car accidents or traumatic sudden events happen it can take a while to feel grounded again and psychologically OK again, so just take it easy, rest, reflect and above all else, be kind to yourself and treat yourself as a friend 🙂


  2. Marilyn says:

    Thankfully someone helped you up before the train moved!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tockwith says:

    What a horrific situation and glad to hear the outcome was good in the end. Lets hope the ‘thug’ is identified and suitably punished. Had it not been for the assistance of the other commuters, it could have been a very different finish. Stay safe and keep up the blog.


  4. sounds dreadful – so glad you are ok

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Contractions of Fate says:

    Crikey, that’s insane. I hope they get him from the CCTV.

    Glad you’re OK

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ankur Mithal says:

    Shocking. It’s a miracle you were pulled out in time. Shudder shudder.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. run-sew-read says:

    You really took one for the team. That was harrowing to read, so it must have indeed been a nightmare to experience. I’m glad you went in for medical care; just in time, by the sound of it. Please let us know if they catch the guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Malla Duncan says:

    Good grief, Stephen! I saw this! Someone took a picture of a man lying on the platform with a bunch of people around trying to get him out. He had slipped with one leg under the train! Was that you? Good heavens! The pic was on Facebook or Twitter, can’t remember – but how awful – and bizarre!

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Pete says:

    Glad to hear you survived this assault. Sadly there are many people today who believe that the world and everyone else in it are just not as important as they are. I hope the police are able to apprehend him.


  11. How awful! I am so glad you have survived with admirable fortitude and stiff upper lip! The man who pushed you is a cad and a bounder who deserves a good thrashing!


  12. oh my goodness…just reading all your older blogs. So glad your ok. Did they ever catch the guy?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Coronavirus Diary 56 – My first hug! | Stephen Liddell

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