In Essex there was a time when just uttering his name would cause a deathly silence. So feared was Pat Tate, a gangland leader with strong links to the Costa del Sol, that his story ultimately met a violent end.
His story is now at the core of Rise of the Footsoldier: The Beginning, the third instalment and prequel to the hit British franchise.
To get to the root of Tate’s story, the filming was brought to Marbella - the starting point of his rise to large-scale delinquency. Puerto Banús was one of the main locations for this production which is an adaptation of the true story behind the Rettendon murders of 6 December 1995, when Tate was shot dead inside a Range Rover alongside partners Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe. It was on the Costa where the story begins, in 1988. It was here when the protagonist first entered the criminal underworld and made contact with dealers to acquire a large batch of ecstasy to sell in Southend nightclubs. The operation, however, didn’t go as planned, and he was arrested and sent to prison.
This didn’t hamper him, though, and the connections he made behind bars would help him to become a key component of the so-called Essex Boys.
His weakness for Marbella saw him return to the Costa many times over the years, often on the run from the authorities back in the UK. In fact, an ill-advised trip to Gibraltar immediately set off alarm bells and saw him arrested once more.
Actor Craig Fairbrass, a regular face in British gangster films and also the voice of Call of Duty, will play Tate once more in the third part of the saga which was filmed last month on sets in Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara, as well as in London.
Memoirs of a hooligan
Created by Julian Gilbey in 2007, The Rise of the Footsoldier saga arose from the story of the Inter City Firm (ICF), an English football hooligan firm to which the Essex Boys were closely associated. It was the memories of one of its members, Carlton Leach, who was a partner of Tate, which has inspired the trilogy.
Directed by Zackaray Alder, Tony Tucker, a mobster who protected Tate, is played by Terry Stone - another household name on the gangster drama scene.
Roland Manookian, Jamie Foreman and Josh Myers complete the lineup for the shooting which was filmed with the use of drones on the Ronda road and the beach in San Pedro Alcántara, with the cooperation of Malaga company Objetivo 50 and drones from Helifilm.
The film will hit screens in the UK this autumn.