Every town or city has one: the local tramp that is known to all the residents. But few can boast having the tramp that beholds true character, a significant skill, or an unbelievable life story. Just like a game of Chinese Whispers, rumours circulate amongst local communities about how these tramps came to be. Here is a rundown of those elite tramps who are, or once were, used to a life of sleeping rough, and how they overcame the bordom and hardship by undertaking a unique skill.

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June 06, 2011

The Man With The Golden Voice

Real name: Ted Williams

Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

Famous for: Having a ‘golden voice’ for radio

Aside from the drugs and booze, Ted was also a pimp and had a lot of groupies during his darker days.

Facebook page: Link | 1,740 friends

Video: Link

DoA: Alive

Fame rank: 5/5

Skill rank: 5/5

Ted Williams; the man with the golden voice, has become something of viral sensation after a video of him performing a signature style radio voice cropped up on Youtube. Ted’s come-to-bed vocal abilities took him off the streets and into a respectable job as a much sought after voice-over talent, which has seen him completely turn his life around. Ted became homeless following a heady life of drugs, theft, and hoes. While on the streets, however, Ted used his voice to earn a few peas and was eventually discovered by Dorel Chenoweth (a videographer for the Columbus Dispatch) who is responsible for the video that led him to fame and fortune.

Gordon The Tramp

Real name: Gordon Roberts

Location: Bournemouth, UK

Famous for: Always knowing the time, despite not owning a watch.

Rumours: He is homeless

DoA: Alive

Facebook page: Link | 2,017 friends

Video: Link

Fame rank: 4/5

Skill rank: 5/5

Many tramps have their own fan-based Facebook page, but the one created for Gordon Roberts a by Bournemouth student earned Gordon nationwide recognition in the UK. What’s more is the fact that he isn’t even a tramp, and actually owns a house… or lives in one anyway. His choice of attire and un-interpretable vocal ability, however, certainly gives him the demeanour of a homeless man. But his skill is instantly more notable – he can tell the time without the need for a watch.

Louie The Tricycle Guy

Real name: Louie Evans

Location: Boston, New York, USA

Famous for: Riding a tricycle and wailing

Rumours: Louie covers around 1,000 miles of cycling each month, which he tracks on his digital odometer.

DoA: Alive

Facebook page: Link | 130 friends

Video: Link to short documantary 'Louie' by Brian Moore

Fame rank: 3/5

Skill rank: 3/5

Aside from travelling the length and breadth of Boston on his tricycle, the thing that garners him the most attention is his constant wailing, which most people interpret as ‘move!’ While many people would snub him off as another homeless loon it is quite clear from this video that Louie Evans actually has some serious mental health issues. His avid love of biking regularly brings him to his hang out – local bike shop called Back Bay Bicycles, where the employee’s willingly to fix his bike up for no cost.

Brother Sharp / Xi Li Ge / The Beggar Prince / The Handsome Vagabond

Real name: Chen Guorong

Location: Ningbo, China

Famous for: Being incredibly good looking

Rumours: A movie is to be made about his life

DoA: Alive

Facebook: Link | 3,969 likes

Video: Link to video of numerous people harassing Brother Sharp

Fame rank: 5/5

Skill rank: 4/5

Brother Sharp aka Chen Guorong is sooo hot right now, and without doubt the hottest homeless man that ever walked the streets. Certainly in China anyway. He was discovered after a photographer accidentally snapped him on the streets of Ningbo, China. The public was instantly won over by his dashing looks, but when the media circus rolled into town, it became clear that Guorong was mentally unstable and unprepared for the attention.

Strangely, around the same time that the image was discovered on the net, Vivienne Westwood presented a ‘homeless chic’ themed show in which all of the models were dressed in customized begging rags. Hmmmm. Unfortunately for Chen, his exquisite facial structure and fine knowledge of layering didn’t seem to get him much further than online recognition, and instead, in true fashion industry style, everyone is copying the look. How long until all the hipsters are sleeping rough?

Lenny The Tramp

Real name: Lenny Sprigg

Location: Enfield, UK

Famous for: Getting a record deal

Rumours: He is both dead and alive

DoA: Unknown

Facebook page: Link | 153 friends

Video: Link to Lenny in the studio

Fame rank: 3/5

Skill rank: 1/5

At first look, Lenny the Tramp could easily be mistaken as an aging Danny; otherwise known as the innovator of the Camberwell Carrot and drug dealer from Withnail and I. This cockney rebel made a name for himself thanks to the aid of local resident and music producer CP BAZzZMAN, who decided to use the opportunity craft a track around Lenny’s life with the hope of raising enough money to get Lenny his own digs. The finished product is even accompanied with musings by Lenny of his life on the streets. Around January 2010, rumours began circulating about Lenny’s untimely death due to hypothermia. News of Lenny’s uncertain fate even caught the attention of the press and, to this day, nothing has been officially confirmed.

Juggling Jim

Real name: Unknown, although his first name could be Jim

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk, UK

Famous for: Juggling, playing guitar and singing curses

Rumours: He lives in a mansion

DoA: Alive

Facebook page: Link | 228 friends

Video: Link to a crap quality video, shot on a phone by some little turds hurling needless abuse.

Fame rank: 1/5

Skill rank: 5/5

While it isn’t known whether or not Juggling Jim is technically a tramp, his significant presence on the streets, beard and shaggy demeanour raises the question. Aside from juggling his other skills include playing the guitar, singing curses and performing with a puppet. Jim has been referred to on numerous online sources as something of a legend who brings soul to the somewhat soulless town of King's Lynn.

Nobby The Tramp

Real name: Michael Ross

Location: Peterborough, UK

Famous for: Living in a bus stop and playing golf

Rumours: Nobby became homeless after 1) house burnt down killing wife, 2) wife was killed in hit-and-run accident

DoA: Alive

Facebook page: Link | 4,850 members

Video: Nothing, although there is a play about him.

Fame rank: 3/5

Skill rank: 1/5

Rumour has it that Nobby’s decent into homelessness began after his house caught fire, killing his wife. Another fable goes that his wife was killed in a hit and run accident. Whichever of these stories are true, if any are true, the situation led him to move into a bus stop where he stayed for ten years. The residents of Peterborough warmed to Nobby’s charm and would even provide him with food and blankets. Nobby, otherwise known as Michael Ross, is also an avid golf player, but what’s most impressive is the fact that his life has been the inspiration for a local play, lovingly penned Our Nobby. Despite his minor celebrity status, Nobby prefers to keep himself elusive and has since moved into a house.

This list of skilled and brilliant homeless folk was compiled by Home Leisure Direct.