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The Prodigy sponsor Eastleigh Red U13 football team
THEY are a band known for inspiring some crazy moves on the dance floor.
But now punk ravers The Prodigy have become an inspiration on the football field – after they agreed to sponsor a young team’s kit.
Eastleigh Junior Football Club Under-13s Red used the band’s music to get fired up before games during the last season, and ended up winning the prestigious Hampshire Cup.
When parent and music journalist Martin James heard about the unusual pre-match motivation tactics from his son, he used his contacts in the industry to let the band know and frontman Liam Howlett immediately offered to sponsor the team.
The boys’ brand new kit is the same colour as their affiliated team Eastleigh Football Club, but also features The Prodigy’s distinctive ant logo.
Coach Chris Chapman said: “When we went to 11-a-side we got changing rooms and I’ve always played them a bit of dance music just to get them going.
“The Prodigy has always been one of the favourites because it has a fast heavy beat.
“I would have it playing in the background and then just before they went out, I put the tunes up really loud.
“I think it’s brilliant they’ve decided to sponsor us.
“We had played in our previous kit for the last two seasons and we really needed a new kit.
“These kids are at the serious end of boys’ football – some come from academies, some are trialling with academies – they deserve good kit.
“This is the same as Eastleigh Football Club’s kit, who we are affiliated with, so I wanted them to have that feeling of being with Eastleigh FC.”
And the youngsters are enjoying the kudos of having the name of one of the world’s most famous dance bands on the front of their shirts. Caine Chapman, 12, from Hythe said: “It was a shock when I found out they were sponsoring us because they’re such a big band.
“When we listen to it, it makes us get ready for the game.”
Felix Tansey-Thomas, 12, from Romsey, added: “It gets us really pumped up before the games so we just want to get out there.
“I think it might have helped us get to the top of the league, but we also train a lot.”
The team are hoping hits like Firestarter and Out of Space will now help motivate them to defend their Hampshire Cup title this season.