First Wrexham, next Chorley? Another team from English non-leagues could get celebrity treatment

CHORLEY, England (AP) — Chorley could be the next soccer club from the English non-leagues to be given a sprinkle of celebrity stardust.

The sixth-tier team from northwest England said it is in “ongoing discussions” with Boyzone in hopes of the 1990s Irish boy band fronted by Ronan Keating becoming “the face of the football club.”

Chorley said that members of Boyzone, which has had six No. 1 hits in the British charts, will be attending the team’s game against Solihull Moors in the FA Trophy competition on Saturday and that “amazing possibilities” lie ahead.

“We firmly believe,” Chorley said, “that this partnership with Boyzone has the potential to take Chorley FC to new heights, firmly establishing our town and football club as a force to be reckoned with."

Chorley, which plays in National League North, didn’t say if Boyzone was looking to buy the club.

“This is a game-changer,” the club added, “that has the potential to bring our town into the limelight like never before.”

Welsh club Wrexham was in the National League, the fifth tier of English soccer, when it was bought by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney for $2.5 million in 2021. Wrexham has since been promoted to the English Football League and is in a good position this season to get promoted to the third tier.

Boyzone, best known for '90s hits including “No Matter What” and “Words,” split in 1999. It reunited in 2007 but disbanded again in 2019.

Its band members were Keating, Keith Duffy, Stephen Gately, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch. Gately died in 2009. Keating has had the most successful career as a solo artist.


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