Beefy Burnley rugby players will be on the nation’s screens from tonight belting out a moving song for the Co-op’s new Christmas television advert.
The members of Burnley RUFC were chosen to sing Blur’s “Tender” as part of the festive advert with a little help from local opera singer Sean Ruane.
Sean, who now runs CHANT Productions, which trains workers and schools to form community choirs, was approached by the national retailer to put together an unlikely group of singers.
Sean said: “Two of my children play at Burnley Rugby Club so I thought they’d be ideal for this advert. I was a bit wary at first, teaching a lot of rowdy lads out of their comfort zone, but they were absolutely brilliant.
“I taught them breathing exercises and singing scales. They took to it like a duck to water.”
The advert, which is the Co-op’s addition to the current trend for festive feel-good adverts, focuses on the theme of communities coming together. In return, the retailer has made a donation to the club’s community arm.
Club captain, hooker and wannabe tenor Ben Healy said: “It was a great experience.
“There’s always plenty of singing amongst the lads, but that’s usually in the showers after a game, and only if we win.
“Funnily enough, the advert filmed us in the showers. It was great to have the cameras round at Belvedere. I think we’ve unearthed some raw singing talent at the club.
“We’re also grateful to the Co-op for its kind donation.”
The advert, which was embargoes until December 1st, also include a pensioner’s choir, urban beat boxers, a 93-year-old ukulele player and a Manchester reggae act. The track will be available to download from all mainstream music platforms with proceeds going to the Co-op Foundation.
Amanda Jennings, marketing communications director for Co-op said: “For us, the Christmas TV advert has always started in December. It is an extremely competitive time of year for retailers, but we believe it’s important to match with our customers’ need for convenience on everyday items alongside our fantastic offer on Christmas essential and treats.
"Christmas is about togetherness and we have chosen two of the great unifiers – food and music – to showcase this and bring Christmas back to what really matters. It’s all about those little moments that bring people together at Christmas”