Olly and Cody were smash hit duo!

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

HE MAY have spent the sum­mer rock­ing some of Europe’s big­gest sta­di­ums along­side Rob­bie Wil­liams – but singer Olly Murs still re­mem­bers his time in Non-League when the only front man he was in­ter­ested in a duet with was Gilling­ham’s Cody McDon­ald!

Murs, who has had four num­ber one hits since fin­ish­ing run­ner-up on The X-Fac­tor in 2009, has just fin­ished a sell-out Euro­pean tour with Port Vale fan Wil­liams.

It was when he played for Witham Town, how­ever, that Murs – cur­rently at num­ber 29 in the charts with Dear Dar­lin – found his old pal McDon­ald to be some­thing of a Trou­ble­maker to­wards his prospects of pro­gress­ing be­yond the Ry­man League!

“I’ve al­ways been proud to talk about the fact that I played semi-pro be­cause it was a big achieve­ment for me as a young lad,” said the 29-year-old pop heart­throb, who left the Es­sex side af­ter three sea­sons when he suf­fered a knee in­jury in 2008.

“I might not al­ways have played as much as I’d have liked, but un­for­tu­nately I was in a team with Cody, and he’s gone on to play at clubs like Nor­wich, Coven­try and Gilling­ham.

“He was a year or two younger than me and we scored goals for fun to­gether on a Sun­day, which was how I knew him in the first place. A load of us young lads from Witham played for Val­ley Swifts in the Brain­tree and North Es­sex Sun­day League.

“But he was in the team scor­ing loads and has gone on and proven that he’s a pro­fes­sional football player. Ob­vi­ously football wasn’t for me, but singing is.

Ambassador

“It’s crazy how back then we were an un­known cen­tre-for­ward part­ner­ship, but nowa­days peo­ple know who we are for our dif­fer­ent ca­reers.”

Murs’ lat­est sin­gle, out to­day, is Right Place Right Time from his third al­bum of the same ti­tle.

“Be­ing an old cen­tre-for­ward my­self, nine times out of ten I used to be in the right place at the wrong time,” laughs Murs, an ambassador for the FA’s 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

“But in my mu­sic ca­reer so far it’s an apt phrase. I think this al­bum is a true rep­re­sen­ta­tion of who I am right now, where my mu­sic is go­ing and what’s next.”

And that could in­volve em­u­lat­ing Sir El­ton John, who helped Wat­ford rocket up the Football League and to an FA Cup fi­nal in his time as Hor­nets chair­man.

“It would be great, when my ca­reer goes a lit­tle bit qui­eter, if I can be like El­ton John and in­vest some money into Witham Town and take them up the leagues,” he adds.“I might be a football chair­man – the Ro­man Abramovich of Non-League football!”

STU­ART HAM­MONDS

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

ROCK ‘N’ GOALS: Olly Murs in con­cert and Coby McDon­ald play­ing for Gilling­ham

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