By Charles Creasey
A mum filmed the moment she spotted a man power-walking down the street outside her home wearing FLIPPERS – despite being 30 miles from the coast.
Kim Ramsbottom, 30, was relaxing on the balcony of her Manchester flat on Saturday (17 June) when she heard a loud and steady ‘flip flop’ sound on the opposite side of the street.
The sales trainer couldn’t resist getting her camera out when she realised it was a man going about his day in flippers instead of shoes despite being in the town centre of Urmston, Greater Manchester.
Her quirky video footage quickly went viral online and it soon emerged that flipper man was Craig Keatley, 47, who was practising using the bizarre footwear before a planned walk from coast to coast wearing only flippers for cancer charity The Christie.
Kim said: “It was just so barmy – it was really crazy. It was just like he was coming home from the night before.
“I just thought it was a completely mad thing – it’s not often you see a man walking down the street in flippers.
“I thought he was walking home after a night out after a few beers. I was just on the balcony of my apartment. It was a beautiful day and I just took a quick video of him.
“I was having a cup of tea in the sun and I just heard a flipper noise and I didn’t know how to explain it, because it didn’t sound like an animal noise at all. It was just the sound of an enormous step.
“It sounded quite loud from my balcony and you can even hear him stepping along on the video from the other side of the street – it was that loud.
“I’m quite used to the noise because there is a wine bar underneath my flat. It’s a really busy town centre, especially at 10am.
“I definitely heard him before I saw him, the sound was just really crazy. It sounded like somebody walking in massive flip flops but much louder.
“We get a lot of people around here with animals so I’m used to the noise – but this seemed like something entirely different.
“Then I looked over the balcony and I saw a man walking down the street in flippers and it made me smile. He was just flipping along in the sun.
“I thought it was so funny I posted it online and it made everybody’s day – it went viral and loads of people were commenting on it.
“It was completely crazy. It was shared 600 times within a couple of hours.”
After the footage went viral, it emerged the mystery flipper-stepper was none one other than Craig Keatley, who is planning to walk in flippers for charity.
Craig said: “It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to do it. My aim is ultimately to go from the east coast of England to the west coast – entirely in flippers.
“I got the idea from a night out in the early 1990s. I went to a party in Yates’ in Urmston in flippers and it was fantastic.
“In doing this for charity, I just like to think outside the box really. I like cycling, but I wanted to do something completely different.
“I had absolutely no idea I was being filmed and I didn’t see the video until the Sunday morning after. It’s a weird thing to see it on Facebook and have lots of people asking what you’re doing.
“When I learned it went viral that was just crazy. I’ll admit my stepping looks better than I imagined it to be. I thought I looked like John Cleese.”