German soccer club seeks Pete Doherty's help

Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:20am EST
 
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By Iain Rogers

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German soccer club struggling to avoid financial collapse has asked British rocker Pete Doherty to help publicize their plight as he supported the side as a boy, Doherty's manager and club officials said on Friday.

The lead singer of Babyshambles, famous for his relationship with supermodel Kate Moss and a series of widely-publicized drug problems, spent part of his childhood on a British army base near the western city of Krefeld and developed an affection for local club KFC Uerdingen, Doherty's manager Adrian Hunter said.

Uerdingen Marketing Director Stefan Hoffmann said he was hopeful Doherty could help raise awareness of the former Bundesliga club's difficulties and boost ticket sales.

Doherty had been invited to visit next week when he will be in nearby Cologne for a concert, he added.

"I know he has some affection for the club and he would be happy to do something if he has time," Hunter said.

Uerdingen, which now plays in a lower regional league, was founded in November 1905. They won the German Cup in 1985, beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in the final.

Hoffmann said that Doherty, who was born in March 1979, had watched Uerdingen's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, second-leg against Dynamo Dresden in 1986 which Uerdingen won 7-3 having lost the first leg 2-0 in Dresden.

They were beaten 4-2 by Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.

As part of its efforts to raise money, the club recently sold the rights to coach the team for one match on auction site eBay. An unidentified bidder paid 4,110 euros and will coach the team for their match on Saturday against Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.

(Editing by Jon Boyle)

 
<p>British pop group Babyshambles' lead singer Pete Doherty performs during the Glastonbury music festival in Somerset, south-west England, June 23, 2007. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>