DELIMITER //
CREATE FUNCTION ltrim_junk_mysql(str VARCHAR(70))
RETURNS VARCHAR(70)
BEGIN

DECLARE len INT;
DECLARE pos INT;

-- Quickly return if first character is alphanumeric
IF SUBSTRING(str, 1, 1) REGEXP '[[:alpha:]]' THEN
  RETURN str;
END IF;

SET len = LENGTH(str);
SET pos = 1;

WHILE pos <= len DO
  IF SUBSTRING(str, pos, 1) REGEXP '[[:alpha:]]' THEN
   RETURN SUBSTRING(str, pos);
  END IF;
  SET pos = pos + 1;
END WHILE;

RETURN '';
END;

//

DELIMITER ;