A mini-rugby team in Cardiff may be the most heavy metal in the country after clinching a sponsorship deal with legendary band, Def Leppard.
In an unlikely partnership, the veteran rockers have thrown their weight behind Rhiwbina RFC’s under-10s team. To the astonishment of their sporting rivals the team, affectionately known as the Squirrels, now play with Def Leppard’s iconic logo on their shirts.
The surprise sponsors have wowed on and off the pitch, and many are hardly able to believe the team are actually sponsored by one of rock music’s greats.
It is all thanks to one of their coaches Richard Proctor, who has built a close relationship with the Sheffield-born rockers after doing artwork for them and recently returned from Las Vegas with the band and a signed Squirrel jersey.
He told WalesOnline he approached the band for sponsorship after the team ran into some trouble finding a suitable sponsor to feature on the kit.
“We’re really excited about it all,” he said.
“Most people can’t believe it’s the actual band until we explain the links and how it came about.
“We were having some trouble finding sponsors at the time.
“So I said I would approach the band and see what they thought about sponsoring the team.”
Happily, the band jumped at the chance to help out the Squirrels. The team have been kitted out with Def Leppard-branded shirts since November.
Mr Proctor’s nine-year-old son Lucas, who plays in the team, has been lucky enough to see the band rock out twice – once in America, and once when they played in Cardiff.
And the sponsorship has gained some more mini-fans for the heavy metallers, as the Squirrels’ players rifle through their parents’ records for Def Leppard hits.
“The kids absolutely love it,” said Mr Proctor.
“Hopefully, the next time they play in the UK, we might be able to take the boys to see them.”
Lead singer Joe Elliott told the BBC the band were “delighted” to sponsor the team.
He added: “Like all things with our logo on it, I think [the kit] looks spectacular. I’m not sure it’s going to guarantee a winning team every week though, but at least they will look cool.”