Some die-hard football fans turn to tattoos to show their loyalties for their clubs, but not lifelong Cherries fan, Mike Chinchen.
A patient at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Mike, 46, had both of his legs amputated below the knees after contracting meningitis back in 2002. After years of rehabilitation and trialling a number of different prosthetic styles, he now boasts a set of state-of-the-art artificial legs which have been branded in the traditional team colours of championship high flyers AFC Bournemouth.
A season ticket holder at the Goldsands Stadium, Mike said, “I had them specially done for the match on Monday.”
Mike is a season ticket holder at the Goldsands Stadium and he an his young son Samuel were in the crowd to cheer on AFC Bournemouth when they all but secured their place in the Premier League, scoring 3-0 against Bolton Wanderers.
Prosthetist, Caroline McNerney was responsible for designing the new legs. She said: “Nowadays we have the ability to personalise prosthetics with all sorts of designs, and both Mike and I came up with the idea to manufacture a pair themed around his beloved AFC Bournemouth.
“The football club kindly donated us two shirts which we cut up into the shape of Mike’s new legs and laminated them using a special carbon resin. The result has been fantastic and we are all delighted with the outcome.”
Although Mike will never be sure whether his Cherries’ legs helped swing the goals in Bournemouth’s favour, he is ecstatic that his team is at last in the Premiership. “I’ve supported the them through thick and thin,” he said, “and want to say a massive congratulations. I am looking forward to next season and seeing all the big boys at the stadium.”
What does he think of manager Eddie Howe? “He’s so down to earth and part of the community. He’s not just there for the glory. I am so looking forward to the team’s bus tour on Bank Holiday Monday. I’ll be there,” said Mike.