Saul Milton and Will Kennard are the duo behind Chase & Status, the multi-award winning electronic music act. When it comes to football, their allegiances are less harmonious. Milton is a Liverpool fan, Kennard an Arsenal fan. But if there’s any sporting rivalry between the two, it doesn’t show – not least because they’ve recently set their sights beyond the Premier League.

Hammersmith FC is the one of the newest teams in the Southern Amateur Football League, having formed in 2020. The men’s team has just won back-to-back titles, taking it from the third to first division in only two seasons. The women’s team, which competes in the Greater London Women’s Football League, has followed suit. As of this month, both squads count Chase & Status as official sponsors.

Hammersmith FC players model their red home and blue away kits
Hammersmith FC players model their red home and blue away kits © James Siow

If you thought fourth-tier Wrexham AFC, bought by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in 2020, were lower-league, Hammersmith puts things in perspective – its current division is outside the English league system entirely. “We’re not quite Deadpool yet,” admits Milton. But this amateur status was part of the appeal. “They were so grassroots when they first spoke to us, they didn’t even have a pitch,” he says. The pair felt that their involvement would be more impactful at a fledgling club than somewhere with its history already written.

Members of the Hammersmith FC women’s team in training
Members of the Hammersmith FC women’s team in training © James Siow

“They’ve got both finesse and grit whilst screaming diversity and openness,” says Tommy Fish, the club’s co-founder, of Kennard and Milton. Kennard grew up in the area, and it was here the duo first met as they immersed themselves in rave culture before going on to produce tracks for artists including Rihanna, Rita Ora and Example. Sponsorship includes financial support and kits for both the men’s and women’s teams, in collaboration with sportswear brand Kappa. 

Having the name of a music act emblazoned across the shirts is a welcome change of pace from the logos of international airlines and betting companies. “It’s cooler to have sports teams associated with interesting cultural organisations rather than corporate ones,” says Kennard. The duo’s support comes at a crucial time: Hammersmith’s pitch hire costs recently went from £200 a game to £350 overnight. “The fact we are a grassroots club was just shrugged off,” says Fish.

The club hopes the partnership will support its ambitions for the men’s and women’s teams: working their way towards the national leagues, building up youth teams and securing a permanent ground to play at. As for Chase & Status? With a European tour and another project in the works for this year, making it to the odd home game feels like a good start.

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