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How 10 UK Pro Soccer Players Became One of Australia’s Most Enduring Music Groups

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 08:30 AM

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA / ACCESSWIRE / May 14, 2024 / A group of professional UK soccer players migrates to Australia. They go on a TV new talent contest for a laugh and end up becoming recording artists called The Music Men, performing with music greats such as John Farnham and Will Smith. The band's most recent single, called Ange Ball, is a tribute to Ange Postecoglou, a reinvention of The Choirboys famous hit, Run To Paradise. They're hoping to perform it at the MCG when Tottenham Hotspur comes to play Newcastle United on May 22.

It's a wild story but it's not fictional.

It goes like this:

"We were all playing at different levels of football in the UK, starting our careers at professional clubs such as like Bury FC, Crystal Palace, Oldham Athletic, Notts County, Grimsby Town, Chesterfield and Wolves," says The Music Men's David Brooks (aka Brooksy). "My highlight was to play against arguably England's greatest player, Sir Bobby Charlton - Bury v Manchester United. "As our dreams of playing pro football weren't happening, we all gained contracts through our agents to play soccer in Melbourne."

At this stage, the ten footballers came from all over the UK and didn't know each other.

"What united us was our love for, and dream of playing, football," Brooks continues. "We all moved 20,000 kilometres to the other side of the world to fulfil our dreams."

Individually, the then young men played for teams in the National Soccer League (now the A League) and the Victorian State League.

"That's when we got to know each other - from playing together and against each other. The soccer community in the 1980s was very close. Soccer was our life and never ever did we dream of being musicians, as none of us had any experience except for being in the crowd at football matches at Liverpool's Anfield & Man United's Old Trafford where we would sing along with the crowd," Brooks notes.

Brooks began frequenting The Windsor Castle Hotel and started doing a (now popular) party piece, I Am The Musician.

"In 1988, fellow teammate, Phil Griffin, told me I should go on Hey Hey It's Saturday Red Faces," he continues. "Next thing, I grab nine of my soccer mates and go on Red Faces and win it, $500! We went straight to the pub and spent it and it was back to soccer which we love. However, history will tell you that I Am The Musician would never go away. To this day the phone keeps ringing. We've performed at both MCG & SCG for the Ashes, Rod Laver Arena Australian Tennis Open & Basketball, Sydney stadium Rugby Union NSW v South Africa and the ARIA Awards with Will Smith & John Farnham."

The Music Men followed that song with a series of Top 40 Hits such as What Can You Play, Ablett's In The Air and I Am The Footy Fan.

"We claim to be the longest running Oldest Boys Band In The World," Brooks jokes.

Original members who are still in the group are David Brooks (Brooksy) Phil Griffin, Paul Harris, Dean Hennessey, Joe Carroll, Alan Bennett. Steve Cal has been in the group since 1995 and two original members, Micky Hanley & Andy Higgins, have died.

"I think it was my drive to keep going, however the public seem to want more as the phone never stopped ringing. Australians really made us Pommies feel very welcome as they soon realised we weren't up ourselves. We were having a bloody good laugh Aussie style, and we were never in it for the money as there are too many of us," Brooks proposes.

The original dream is unchanged. "We all came here leaving our families back in the UK, to play soccer. But now, after so many years, we are a family, so it's more important than ever for us to stick together," Brooks adds. "I'm proud that I've kept this group going and lifelong friendships have been made. Proud, too, of the smiles we have, and hopefully still, put on peoples' faces. And we are all proud to say, "Australia is our home," 43 years later. And that's why we are proud of what Ange has done for Australian soccer.``

Ange Ball, by The Music Men, the anthem for Ange Postecoglou, is on Spotify here.

Listen to The Music Men's other songs here:


David Brooks
The Musicmen and Founder
[email protected]

SOURCE: The Musicmen

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