A 24-stone self-confessed soccer hooligan has turned his back on the macho world of terrace violence – to undergo a SEX CHANGE.
Burly Richard Allen, 36, lived for brawling with rival fans at England and Exeter City games and admits he was a die-hard yob.
But Richard has shown hooliganism the red card and – after he shed seven stone – has swapped footy shirts for frocks and embarked on a new life — as BECCI.
Becci said: “I had been on a colourful path with anger and got into trouble with the police a few times. I went to football games with Exeter City, Spurs and England and I was a hooligan.
“I used to beat people up. I was always fighting something I wanted to be.
“I am not proud of what I used to do but it has all gone to shaping the way I am today — I am finally getting the life I was meant to live.”
Becci, of Alphington, Devon, knew from the age of eight she wanted to be a woman.
But rather than explore her feminine side she surrounded herself with tough mates and behaved as “manly” as possible to release her pent-up anger.
Decades later Becci finally sought medical advice and has now begun the male-to-female transition.
She is undergoing hormone treatment, voice therapy ahead of a full sex change operation on the NHS.
Homebase worker Becci said: “I spent a lot of time suppressing it and trying to fit in. I was trying to conform to the male form and I did live an unhappy life.
“I didn’t used to have many female friends. I was envious and jealous of them so I built my life around a male environment.
“I decided at the age of 32 to make changes. I got to the point in life where either I did this or my life would be ended.
“I have now gone completely the other way and am now the person I should have been.
“For the first time ever I am just happy.”
Becci says she is enjoying single life after coming out of a 12-year relationship and insists she has the full backing of her family since deciding to dress as a woman.
She even broke the news to her boss over a McDonald’s meal — but said he was equally supportive.
And Becci stresses that just because she prefers to be a woman does not mean having to give up being a big fan of football or darts.
Becci said: “I had a lot of fears about coming out but you need to overcome them.
“I have lost seven stone in weight as I have been a lot more active but I am not as strong as I was and I am learning about my limitations.
“And if I am dressed inappropriately my friends will tell me to go home and change.
“I have not been to St James’ Park for a while because of the trouble I got into, but I am a different person now.
“Having a sex change does not mean I have to stop going to football or darts.”
Becci has been supported throughout her transition by the Exeter-based Laurels service, run by the Devon Partnership NHS Trust.
Clinical team leader Maria Morris said: “People do bottle their feelings up for many years and there are often people with a history of doing very masculine things such as being in the forces or married two or three times.
“Telling family, friends and work colleagues can be a traumatic thing to do.
“Some people are disowned by their families and have been declared freaks. We become their family then and help them live a life.”
Describing her former days as a football hooligan, sex swap England, Exeter City and Spurs fan Becci Allen told how she targeted rival supporters — before dishing out brutal beatings.
Six foot two inch Becci said: “If there was a City-Argyle game we would just go down there and basically beat the crap out of whoever was supporting Argyle.
“Obviously not the kids or the women, but any men that were wearing an Argyle shirt. We’d just beat them up. We went for the rival fans, only the people that were looking for it.
“To be honest, I only did a few games at City but I was a bigger England fan – beating up the Swedes was good fun.
“I was the quiet one that suddenly flipped. It was always fisticuffs. If you can’t fight with your fists there’s no point fighting.
“This was only at the weekends, during the week I was a family man. I do feel remorse now but I can’t change what happened, I can only look forward and build a better life.
“I still have an England tattoo on my arm that says ‘Loud and Proud’ and I have no plans to get rid of it. It’s not very girly but it’s part of me.”
Becci has an 11-year-old daughter, Nicole, with Paula, an ex-partner of 12 years.
Speaking of the effect Becci’s life-style change has had on her relationship with estranged Paula, she said: “Paula probably took it like anyone else would have taken it. That’s probably why we’re not together.
“She was supportive though. She hasn’t given me any hassle. We’ve just gone our separate ways.
“I’ve got a daughter who is 12 in June. I haven’t seen her for three years and I really, really miss her. Hopefully one day she will come and find me.
“My family and friends are amazing. I’m really blessed. I’m a really happy go lucky person who loves life so maybe that’s the reason I’ve got so many friends.
“They just love me for me.”
Becci now has C-cup breasts because of the hormones she takes and has grown out her skinhead haircut into a red bob.
She sees herself as a regular woman leading a regular life.
Becci went on: “I really enjoy a game of darts. I go to the pub as often as possible.
“I’ve been to a Guns N’ Roses concert and a Madness concert. I go everywhere now, lead a completely normal life.
“I haven’t yet been to an England game but I plan to get back into it again.”