Cheerleaders fired for ‘distracting’ players dubbed ‘lucky charms’ upon winning return
Billericay Town, who play in the seventh-tier Isthmian League Premier Division, initially hired cheerleading troupe ‘The Ricays’ to bring some glitz and excitement to the Essex-based outfit.
However, manager and owner Glenn Tamplin, a local millionaire businessman, swiftly gave the girls their marching orders after it emerged one had sent her number to a player. He feared the dancers would distract his side from winning promotion to the Football League.
“We have had to let the cheerleaders go as the lads were becoming unfocused and some of the girls (not all) sending their numbers to them.” Tamplin said at the time.
However, the group has since been reinstated as official match day support and made their return in the team’s landmark 3-1 victory over West Ham in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday.
The group performed in front of a record 4,600 crowd at the club’s AGP Arena as Billericay beat ‘The Hammers’, who play Manchester United in their Premier League opener on Sunday.
“It went fantastically and now it means we’re a good luck charm because every time we perform they have an amazing result,” cheerleader manager Bekka Batchelor said, the Star reported.
“The crowd seemed to really respond and we whipped them all up. With any luck we’ll be good motivation to get them coming back to the terraces every week.
“We’d like to think we give the younger girls – who might not all be as keen on the football – something to take an interest in,” she added.
Manager Tamplin may claim most of the credit for the win, having pumped his players for the match with a bizarre “kings of the jungle” speech in which he called his players ‘lions’.
Billericay have already made headlines this summer with the signings with their business in the transfer window. The club managed to pull off several coups including the acquisition of former Liverpool players Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, the latter of which scored the second goal of the game versus West Ham.
The game also marked the opening of a stand catering for the disabled, named in honor of local boy Harry Parker, who has cerebral palsy.