FAT Hamster. It doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Coldplay. But this is the name of the fledgling band formed by a group of ambitious Southampton schoolboys in the early 1990s.

As the teenagers from Portswood jammed in a converted loft in Chilworth and dreamed of playing Highfield Church, little did they know they were harbouring a superstar.

Who could have predicted that their 13-year-old guitar player Will was destined to become one quarter of one of the world's most successful rock bands?

But Coldplay drummer Will Champion could have had a much less glamorous career.

The musician was born in Southampton to two archaeology buffs at the university and looked set to follow in their academic footsteps.

He attended local schools including Cantell Secondary in Bassett - where he showed a flare for trampolining - before going on to Peter Symonds College Winchester and University College London to study anthropology.

Champion once told the Daily Echo that archaeology had a huge impact on his life and school holidays invariably featured "obelisks, burial grounds and hill forts".

But something about those early schoolboy jamming sessions stuck fast.

And, luckily for legions of Coldplay fans, Champion decided to leave the dust of archaeological digs and university libraries behind to pursue a career in the music business.

  • See today's Daily Echo for the full story