Hartlepool FC pay tribute to unlikely fan Meat Loaf

Hartlepool FC pay tribute to unlikely fan Meat Loaf
The rock star was attracted to Hartlepool by the town’s monkey legend.

Football club Hartlepool have paid tribute to Meat Loaf by playing a number of the late singer’s hits before kick-off.

The rock star, born Marvin Lee Aday, who has died aged 74, sold millions of albums worldwide, with Bat Out Of Hell being one of the best selling albums of all time.

He was also an unlikely Poolie, who adopted the League Two club after being asked to appear on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM programme in 2003.

In an interview with Setanta Sports News, the singer said he had been attracted to Hartlepool by the town’s monkey legend.

He said: “I was going on Soccer AM and they said ‘do you have a team that you support, Manchester United Liverpool?’, and I was going, ‘that’s boring!’.

“It’s just like a celebrity to go on and go ‘oh, I’m a Liverpool fan, I support whoever’, the teams who have always been at the top.

“So I started looking and I went to the second division, no, no, and I got down to the third division and I said, ‘There’s a cool name, Hartlepool, in the third division’.

“I found out that the city, back a long time ago, the claim was that a monkey washed ashore and the whole city thought it was a Frenchman and they hung him, and I said, ‘that’s perfect’.

Meat Loaf performing on stage in London (Yui Mok/PA)

“Then what I did was, I started researching all the players from Hartlepool, so when I got on Soccer AM I knew all the players, I knew the last game, I knew who were the big scorers, I knew who the coach was.”

In tribute to him, Hartlepool played a number of Meat Loaf’s hits, including Paradise By The Dashboard Light, before their home game with Stevenage.

The team ran out to Bat Out of Hell.

A post on Meat Loaf’s official Facebook page said the US rocker had died with his wife Deborah at his side, and that his daughters, Pearl and Amanda, “and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours”.

Lorraine Crosby, who sang on Meat Loaf’s hit number one single I’d Do Anything For Love, led tributes to the rock star.

“He had a heart of gold, he was a big man with a big heart, he really was,” she told the PA news agency.