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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Meat Loaf heads for Hartlepool
Meat Loaf is already a Hartlepool United fan
American rocker Meat Loaf says he wants to set up home in Hartlepool on Teesside.

The millionaire singer and actor has asked estate agents to pick out suitable properties.

The star's love affair with the town that elected a monkey mascot as mayor, began when he met fans of the town's football club on a television programme.

He has become a supporter of the club, recently promoted to the Nationwide second division.

Meat Loaf - real name Marvin Lee Aday - frequently appears in public with his own Hartlepool United mascot.

Fans of the football team are nicknamed "monkey hangers" by their rivals from neighbouring Darlington.

Hartlepool mascot-turned mayor Stuart Drummond
Hartlepool's biggest fan, mascot-turned mayor Stuart Drummond
The nickname derives from a legend that a monkey was executed by locals in the 19th century after it was washed ashore from a shipwreck and was suspected of being a French spy.

A UK spokeswoman for the Texan-born star, whose Bat out of Hell album is one of the all-time best-sellers, says he is ready to spend 1m on a Teesside retreat.

She said: "He hasn't asked us to pick out anything specific, but he's definitely got something in mind.

"He's in Newcastle playing a show in November and I think he wants to fit in a visit to the town then to look at properties.

"He has been tipped off that parts of northern England are areas of good investment and he wants to find a place for that but also as a base for when he is in Britain."

Ron Greig runs a Hartlepool estate agents and said his office had sent details on a number of properties to Meat Loaf's management.

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