When musicians sponsor football clubs…

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May 7, 2021
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    Ed Sheeran in the stands at Portman RoadEd Sheeran will sponsor Ipswich Town's shirts next season

    Ed Sheeran has become the latest musician to sponsor a football club shirt, signing a deal to take over the front of the men's and women's first team kits at his beloved Ipswich Town.

    Sheeran has been a die-hard Ipswich fan from day dot (see below – young Edward in his 1997-99 home shirt) and he and his family are often seen at Portman Road.

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    The new shirt won't have Sheeran's name on it but, instead, mathematical symbols followed by the word 'tour'.

    "All will be revealed in time," he said.

    Sheeran adds his name to an illustrious list of bands and musicians to have done the same for their favourite clubs or youth teams. Here are a few examples…

    Bohemians (2021) – Fontaines D.C

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    Irish Premier Division club Bohemians FC already sound a bit like a neo-punk outfit, so their marriage with the biggest post-punk band to emerge in the charts during the past couple of years makes perfect sense.

    Fun fact: the 'D.C' in the titular band name stands for 'Dublin City'.

    St Albans City (2020-21) – Enter Shikari

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    St Albans is a sleepy Roman city on the outskirts of London. It's also the place that birthed politico-punk-electronica band Enter Shikari.

    And in August 2020, St Albans City, who play in the National League South, announced the band as their new shirt sponsors.

    Margate (2018-present) – The Libertines

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    Margate has become a bohemian, seaside haven for fans of all kinds of British pop culture from the 90s and noughties. Artist Tracey Emin grew up in the town, and has a studio there, and The Libertines recently opened a hotel, for wandering poets and minstrels.

    The band have sponsored the local team, who play in the Isthmian League Premier Division, since 2018. And this year's kits are quite something.

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    St Roch's Primary School (2018) – Mogwai

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    In 2018, Glaswegian band Mogwai put their name on the strips of a local primary school.

    Drummer Martin Bulloch had known the school's deputy head for years and offered to help out when he heard the kids were having to play in old kits, with no funds for new stock.

    Notts County FC (2017-present) – Jake Bugg

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    Indie starlet Jake Bugg has had his name on the front of Notts County shirts since 2017 and currently sponsors the away shirt.

    Bugg is a big Magpies fan and tries to spread awareness of the club while touring.

    The Seven Sisters Under-9s (2017) – Sleaford Mods

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    Strange one this. Four years ago, angry, shouty duo Sleaford Mods agreed to sponsor a youth team in South Wales. The pair, Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn, are both from Nottingham. We're baffled too, but good on them.

    Those are just a few happy crossovers – bands and musicians collaborate with football teams more often than you may think.

    Among the others worthy of honourable mention…

    • Eastleigh Reds Under-13s – sponsored by rave group The Prodigy in 2012
    • Bonnyton Thistle Under-9s – sponsored by Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro in 2009
    • Greenbank FC Under-10s – sponsored by heavy rock band Motorhead in 2006
    • Newport County – sponsored by comedy hip-hop group Goldie Lookin' Chain during 2004-05
    • Brighton and Hove Albion – sponsored by Fatboy Slim's record label Skint from 1999
    • Cardiff City – sponsored by psychedelic Welsh outfit Super Furry Animals in 1999
    • Clydebank – sponsored by Scottish soft-rockers Wet Wet Wet in 1993


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