A HARTLEPOOL Sunday league over 40s team has a touch of stardom about it this year - thanks to the support of X Factor star Amelia Lily.
Amelia’s dad, Barry Oliver, plays for the Hartlepool Touch Down Hotel Over 40s team, who were in the market for some new kits.
Kits don’t come cheap, but chart star Amelia stepped in and bought 20 brand new strips - and sponsored them herself.
The team, in their 25th year, are now hoping to express their thanks with performances on the pitch and hope to be in the race for the league title.
Amelia, who finished third in the 2011 X Factor series, has gone on to achieve chart success with her debut single. You Bring Me Joy, reaching the number two position and her second single, Shut Up (and Give Me Whatever You Got), debuting at number 11 last year.
And although she couldn’t make it to the King George V Playing Fields, in West View, for the official handover of the kits, she hinted that she may well get chance to come to town and watch her newly sponsored team.
She told the Mail: “It’s an honour to be the team’s sponsor this season and hopefully for many more.
“I wish the team all the luck for the season and I’m sorry I can’t be there for the photo shoot but I’m quite sure the team will be seeing me soon.”
Amelia’s dad, Barry, 47, who lives in Nunthorpe, in Middlesbrough, said: “We needed some new kits so I mentioned it to Amelia and she jumped at the chance to help out and support us.
“It’s a big thing for Amelia as well because it’s her very first sponsorship.”
John Grange, club secretary, thanked Amelia on behalf of everyone involved with the club.
The 67-year-old who lives in Seaton, said: “New kits don’t come cheap.
“We are a self-supported club so all the help we get makes a real difference.
“This is a tremendous gesture and we would love to repay Amelia by winning something this year.”
Four games into the season, the team currently sit sixth in the Sunderland and District Sunderland Mill View Social Club Over 40s League, just three points off the top.
John added: “We’ve got a good squad of players and our average age is only 44 which is brilliant for this level.
“Hopefully we can have a good season in the league and possibly win a cup as well.”