Popular ‘Leo the Tramp’ safe and well in Romford?
A well-known and popular homeless man, whose disappearance sparked a 2,000-strong Facebook page campaign, is thought to be safe and well in a Romford nursing home.
Darren Groves, 30, set up a site called ‘Find Leo the Tramp’ after rumours circulated that the Dagenham vagrant had died.
Within two days the site had more than 1,500 ‘likes’, many showing concern and talking about their fond memories of Leo.
Before long new rumours emerged, that he had been taken to Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, with gangrene, before being moved to Chase View Care Home, off Dagenham Road, Romford.
Neither Darren or the Recorder have been able to get this officially confirmed by staff at the home, who say there are unable to release information about residents.
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However a number of people on the Facebook site, which currently has around 1,900 ‘likes’, are now saying carers have confirmed he is there and is in good health.
Darren said Leo, whose surname is thought to be Higgins, has become a well-known and loved figure in the community after living on the streets of Dagenham for at least 20 years.
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He said: “Nearly every family who has lived in Dagenham over the past couple of decades will know who he is. He was usually at the Heathway and would always be friendly and say ‘hello’.
“So when I heard rumours that he had died I felt it was important we found out if this was true, and if it was that we arranged for some kind of tribute to the man. “However it now sounds like he is alive and well, which is fantastic.”
The pest controller would still like official confirmation that Leo is at the home and then, if possible, he would like to take a gift of some kind to the man and show him how many people care.
“I hope he sees this story and gets in touch,” he added.
“If he wants to be left alone that’s fine, but it would be great if he just said ‘hi’ and that he’s OK.”