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AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Meet Cherries' very own Flyingleaper
Published : 21 Apr 2010 07:00:00
LIVING five-and-a-half thousand miles from Bournemouth has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of one of Cherries' more eccentric supporters. And Laurie Martin is hoping to have timed to perfection his latest pilgrimage across the pond in a week when Eddie Howe's heroes go in search of promotion. Known to his friends on the Internet as the Flyingleaper, Laurie's legendary AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH catchphrase will be heard loud and clear at Burton Albion on Saturday. Born in Bournemouth, Laurie was hooked after watching his first game at Dean Court in 1957, the final match in Cherries' epic FA Cup run against mighty Manchester United. At the time, he was attending Summerbee School before he completed a five-year apprenticeship at Penny & Giles in Mudeford. Now 63, he settled in El Segundo in California around 30 years ago and his home has become something of a shrine to AFC Bournemouth. I was a scientific engineer designer and I had contract jobs all over the world, says Laurie, who once flew back to watch Cherries win a reserve league because he thought it might be his only chance to see them claim any silverware. I worked here, there and everywhere before I ended up in the States. I'm trying to spread the Cherries word around the world. A guy near us has a pub in his back garden called the Silly Cow and I've converted a 1930s' pool house in my back garden into a pub. It's called the Cherries Pub. It's painted in black and red stripes and is decorated with Cherries memorabilia. It's on Facebook and people from Australia, Canada and France visit us through the website. I came over last year for the Grimsby game and got Steve Fletcher to sign the photo of him celebrating the winning goal on the back page of the Daily Echo. I saw him after the Darlington match on Saturday and told him I had had it framed and had put it on the toilet door in the pub. He joked that people would sit on the toilet and look at him but I told him it was on the outside on our wall of fame. We get people standing next to it and mimicking the pose. Laurie keeps abreast with events at Dean Court through cyber space and is a regular poster to the Daily Echo forum and a keen matchday blogger. But what of his Flyingleaper nom de plume and bizarre AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH catchphrase He explains: When I used to read bedtime stories to my son, I would make up my own theme. Like the Penguin and such like in Batman, the Flyingleaper and the Gimbler were two of my super heroes. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH is a pirate-thing. Everybody used to chant it at the old ground and it stuck. Married to Sally, Laurie has four children Luke, Claire, Victoria and David and three grandchildren Sydney, Bradley, Rory and Arlo (he pronounces it AAAAAAAAAA-HHHHHHHHHHlo! He now runs an antiques business and has been trying to lend his support to Cherries' recent fund-raising initiatives: I'm trying to sell a gold pendant broche with diamonds, sapphires and rubies. It's 18-carat gold and I'm asking 500 bucks for it. It's on eBay and all the money will go to the Cherries but nobody has bought it yet. I've been bugging Richard Branson to support the club and build a new stand. He came to El Segundo recently but I missed him by about half-an-hour! Laurie is due to return to America on Monday and hopes to be celebrating: I've got tickets for Burton and, hopefully, we can do it there AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!