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REVEALED: Run-ins with the New York Mafia and Coloumbian drug lords - the explosive memoir written by Sheffield-born club owner Peter Stringfellow

Peter Stringfellow.
Peter Stringfellow.

Little-known stories about run-ins with the New York Mafia and Coloumbian drug lords have been revealed in an explosive memoir written by Sheffield-born club owner Peter Stringfellow before his death.

Tributes have poured in to the millionaire nightclub boss following his death at the age of 77 after a cancer battle last Thursday.

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One story unearthed is from his 1996 memoir King Of Clubs, which is being serialised by a national newspaper, in which he recalls Mob threats after opening a club in New York.

In the book, he writes: "To me, New York was a ­happening place where comic book heroes were born. To everyone else, it was a drug-infested city run by the Mafia.

"When I opened Stringfellows in the Big Apple, fact and fiction clashed. In England, journalists would ask me about girls and drinking. In New York, they asked: 'How do you deal with the Mafia?'

"I hadn’t borrowed any money in America, so there was no 'funny' money in my club. Naively, I thought I was safe. But the Mafia don’t need to invest in your ­nightclub to have a hold over you.

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"I was happy for them to dine in my restaurant but not so happy when they machine-gunned down the front doors. These guys didn’t mess around."

He goes onto explain another encounter with the criminal underworld - this time with South American drug lords - after opening another venue in Miami.

Peter wrote: "One night I was asleep at my flat in Highgate when my manager in Miami called in a panic. Six FBI agents had run up the stairs into the disco, walked up to two guys, sat with four gorgeous girls, and put guns to their heads.

"The pair were Colombian drug dealers who drank my ­champagne by the bucketload. They turned over the table and started fighting the FBI. A shot was fired in the ceiling before the Colombians were handcuffed and dragged downstairs.

"I thought: “That’s it, I’m ruined.” But everyone just started dancing again. If anything, the drama added to the club’s reputation."

Born in Pitsmoor, Peter rose to prominence after opening a string of clubs in Sheffield in the 1960s and 70s.

He organised for some of the world's biggest music stars - including The Beatles, Elton John and Jimi Hendrix - to play in the city.

Clubs later opened in Leeds, Manchester and London, along with other venues in America.

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His publicist Matt Glass announced his death last week.

He married three times, had four children and four grandchildren.