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Boyzone could become the face of Chorley FC

Chorley are hoping to follow the Wrexham “playbook” after revealing they are in negotiations for pop group Boyzone to become the new face of the club.

The part-time National League North outfit announced this week that members of the boy band were due to attend their next fixture with a view to taking an active role in the set-up at Victory Park.

That news came after Chorley were served with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs but the significance of that has been played down by the club.

According to a court filing, the petition was served on Tuesday and the case is currently listed as open.

“It’s been dealt with, it’s done,” chief operating officer Tom Clarke told the PA news agency. “It was something and nothing and it’s gone.”

For Mr Clarke, the immediate focus is on Saturday as Boyzone singers Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy, along with Westlife’s Brian McFadden, attend the Magpies’ FA Trophy tie with Solihull Moors.

It is part of a collaboration which could lead to Boyzone not only bringing sought-after publicity but, potentially, investment.

The club described their ongoing discussions with the group as a “game-changer” that could push Chorley into the “limelight like never before”.

Whether or not it generates the attention that actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have brought to Wrexham remains to be seen, but that would certainly be the dream.

Clarke said: “They’ve written the playbook, haven’t they? They’ve proven that as a tried-and-tested model and obviously it’d be absolutely fantastic to do anything like that.

“It’d be wonderful if they were to come in and have an active role within the club and, ultimately, that’s got to be what our goal is set for as part of those negotiations.”

Chorley, whose stadium holds 4,100, were taken over by London-based entrepreneur Prince Yemoh last May and the club has big ambitions of climbing the league pyramid.

They are currently sixth in the sixth tier and hope to follow the path of Salford who, backed by a group of players from Manchester United’s famous ‘Class of 92’, rose through the non-league ranks to League Two.

Clarke said: “Salford is probably a very good example. We’re under new ownership, there’s lots of things changing, lots of things happening.

“We’ve great ambitions to progress through the National Leagues and hopefully into league football in the not-too-distant future.

“We want to try and do the best we can. Chorley’s got 180,000 people (living) there. It’d be great if we were seeing a lot more of them coming to the actual games to support the club.”

The link with Boyzone, which has come about through a personal friendship with Lynch, has already created attention the club could previously not have imagined.

Clarke said: “Shane’s a personal friend of some of ours. We’ve known him for about six or seven years through the motoring trade.

“He came down to a couple of games earlier this season and liked the buzz that was happening at Chorley.

“He’s gone back, spoken to his bandmates and instigated negotiations for them potentially becoming the face in the club.

“Obviously it’s gone very big, very quick. It’s really good. It’s exciting times.”

Boyzone rose to fame in the 1990s, selling millions of albums and releasing hit singles including Words, A Different Beat and No Matter What.

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