Belfast Telegraph

Rock band sponsors kids' rugby team

A children's rugby team can boast the loudest shirt in sport - after getting sponsored by rock legends Def Leppard.

Rhiwbina under-10s in Cardiff teamed up with the multi-platinum rockers thanks to coach Richard Proctor. The 46-year-old is good friends with the Sheffield five-piece after designing the artwork for three of their albums.

So when the young Welsh side were on the hunt for new sponsors Mr Proctor decided to drop his rock star pals an email asking if they fancied having their band's logo on Rhiwbina's shirts.

And youngsters at the club, nicknamed The Squirrels, went predictably nuts when they found out their next sponsors were going to be one of the world's biggest rock bands.

Mr Proctor said: "It has to be one of the coolest sponsorship deals ever. The boys are over the moon about it - they are few teams that can boast having a band like Def Leppard as their sponsor, let alone a children's rugby team.

"A lot of the boys had already heard of Def Leppard through video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. And the ones which haven't have become converts now."

Mr Proctor's association with Def Leppard began purely by chance while he was travelling in the USA in 1988.

While working at a kids holiday camp, the Bridgend-born former Gwent college pupil met the bands' manager Malvin Mortimer, who also hails from south Wales. "We became good friends and I ended up doing some artwork for the fan club over the years," he added. "Then in 2006 the band asked me to design the artwork for their covers album Yeah!"

Since then, he has gone onto design the band's critically acclaimed comeback 2008 album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge as well as live LP Mirrorball.

Lead singer Joe Elliott said he was delighted to sponsor Rhiwbina. "When he told me he needed a sponsor, I jumped at the chance, only afterwards did I realise it was a rugby and not a footy team!" added the massive football fan. "Like all things with our logo on it, I think it looks spectacular," he said.


From Belfast Telegraph