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‘Peaky Blinders’ Superfan Spends Nearly $8,000 On Tattoos Devoted To The BBC Gangster Show


David Hatfield, 58, who covered his back and arms with tattoos devoted to the BBC gangster show “Peaky Blinders.” (Zenger)

By Ana Marjanovic

A “Peaky Blinders” superfan has forked out $7,825 (6,000 pounds) to cover his entire back and arms in tattoos devoted to the hit BBC gangster series.

David Hatfield, 58, has spent 125 hours under the needle to obtain the stunning artwork, which features most of the main characters from the iconic gritty crime drama.

The council worker got his first “Peaky Blinders” tattoo in July 2016 to cover up an older inking he had done in his youth.

He started with a portrait of main protagonist Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, before adding more characters across his entire back.

Hatfield had his entire back and most of his arms covered with tattoos of the Peaky Blinders cast. His back alone took 64 hours across 11 sittings to complete. (Zenger)
Hatfield got his first “Peaky Blinders” tattoo to cover up an older tattoo that he’d gotten when he was younger. Then he kept adding onto it as his interest in the show grew. (Zenger)

He has since spent several thousand dollars more covering both of his arms in images of mafia man Luca Changretta and Tommy’s brother Arthur Shelby.

And David says he isn’t finished yet as he plans to add a tribute to Helen McCrory, who played Aunt Polly, following her death due to breast cancer last year.

“I’m a massive fan of the show and the characters are really wonderfully portrayed,” said Hatfield, who lives in Halesowen, West Midlands, in western-central England.

“I was going to have ‘The Great Escape’ on my back as it came out in 1963 when I was born, but I chose ‘Peaky Blinders’ instead as I just fell in love with it.

“My back took 64 hours and 11 sittings to complete because a lot of them are cover-ups of rubbish old tattoos I had when I was younger.

“I was in the chair for seven hours for the first tattoo, and it’s 350 pounds [$456] a sitting. It’s roughly 6,000 pounds [$7,825] altogether, so I’ve spent a fair bit on them.

“I did it because I thought it was an original idea. I must have been the only one at the time.

“I’ve seen a couple more full back pieces now, but I think I’m the only one with a full back and arms.

Scenes from the series are also depicted among the many tattoos on Hatfield’s body. (Zenger)
Hatfield intends to get a tattoo on his left arm featuring Helen McCrory, following her death due to breast cancer. (Zenger)

“I was speaking to Packy Lee, who plays Johnny Dogs, on Facebook, and we were going to meet before COVID, but he is a busy man.

“I’m keeping my left arm mainly free for a tribute to Helen McCrory. I’ve always intended to get her as it was terribly sad when she died.

“She was an integral part of the show and a wonderful actress,” said Hatfield.

He noted that he is still not used to the pain that comes from his dedication to his “Peaky Blinders” body art.

“You never get used to the pain of the tattoo. Some of them can be a breeze, but other times, you can lie there in agony.

“The worst pain I had was my inner bicep and my lower back.

“I should’ve learned my lesson by now, and I said I’d stop when I did my back.

“But I will definitely finish it, with Aberama Gold and Polly to finalize both sleeves.

“I’m thinking of having a noose in a space, around my elbow, connecting to the tat of Arthur as he tried to kill himself.

“I’ll have the ribs done next. I might have the back connecting to the ribs so it’s just one big piece. Once you get the bug, you just keep on going.

Hatfield’s love of the show convinced him to keep getting more tattoos to honor each of his favorite characters. (Zenger)
Hatfield said he will be sad once the series comes to an end. He had originally gotten the tattoos because few others had them and believes he is still the only one to have a full back piece and arms covered in art inspired by the series. (Zenger)
Even though, he’s already spent almost $8,000 on his tattoos and admits the process of getting them still hurts terribly, Hatfield has no intention of stopping there, with more tattoos planned for the rest of his arms and his ribs. (Zenger)

“It’s going to be sad when the series ends because it has just been superb from start to finish.

“I reckon it’s going to end with Michael and Tommy fighting — maybe Tommy dies as Michael blames him for his mum’s death.

“I think the gray man Tommy’s daughter kept talking about that was coming to get her is Michael Gray.

“I’ll definitely miss it when it’s no longer on, but I really look forward to the film coming out,” said Hatfield.

His incredible artwork was produced by tattooist Martin Thornton at Ink Envy in Birmingham.

The final season of Peaky Blinders is currently airing in the United Kingdom on the BBC every Sunday at 9 p.m.

Edited by Siân Speakman and Kristen Butler

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